Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits ‘main focus’ is Premier League
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that the Premier League is more important than the Champions League this week.
Wenger, speaking in Sydney ahead of his side’s pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich, admitted the Premier League is the focus and denied the speculation of unsettled forward Alexis Sanchez leaving the club due to no European football.
“The main focus for us is on the Premier League, that for me is more important than the Champions League,” he said.
“We rested sometimes players in the group stage of the Champions League for the Premier League, so that has become the biggest importance for us.
“For the rest, we have played 20 years in the Champions League and 17 years before Alexis arrived and three years with him - he can get us back in there.”
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Wenger played down the speculation of not being in Champions League giving them more chance of winning the league.
“No, not really, we have a group of player who are top quality.
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“After that I believe that if you look at the last few years, you have Chelsea who have not played in Europe and Leicester who have not played (and they both won the title) so we have to focus on the Premier League and prepare well.”
The media also pressed Wenger on the speculation of Alexis Sanchez wanting to leave the club and compared it to Robin Van Persie leaving a few seasons ago.
“Not really, every case is different,” Wenger said.
“Van Persie was 30 to 31 when he left and had only one year of contract, Alexis is younger.
“It’s difficult to speak at the moment about that but the decision has been made and we’ll stick to that.”
The Arsenal manager was also questioned on whether Premier League clubs were making big steps in the transfer market with the club breaking their record transfer fee for Alexandre Lacazette and Manchester United’s signing of Romelu Lukaku.
“For the amount of money that the Premier League spends, it’s linked with the fact that when people know that you have money, they want a lot from you.
“That’s just a fact and the consequence of the Premier League being rich.
Before adding: “With Lacazette it’s too early for any assessment and any judgement on how well he will do.”