Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez will move 'in the next 48 hours' with Manchester United favourites to land striker
Alexis Sanchez's move away from Arsenal could be confirmed "in the next 48 hours", Arsene Wenger has confirmed.
Arsenal left Sanchez at home for Sunday's 2-1 Premier League loss at Bournemouth, though Wenger insisted the Chile striker was willing to play.
The 29-year-old appears to be closing in on a move to Manchester United, though Manchester City are still eyeing developments.
Wenger has insisted Arsenal will replace Sanchez if he leaves, but admitted the former Barcelona man could even still yet remain at the Emirates Stadium past the end of the January transfer window.
"Alexis would have played," said Wenger, after Arsenal leaked two goals in five minutes to slip to defeat at Dean Court.
"Alexis would have played, but it's a difficult period for him.
"He's always been committed until now but he could have gone yesterday and he could go in the next 48 hours.
"It was difficult for him because he was on standby. That's why I decided not to do it.
"He did not refuse to play."
Wenger confirmed on Friday that Sanchez will not sign a new contract, with his current Arsenal deal expiring in the summer.
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That has paved the way for a January move, and United appear best-placed to secure the prolific forward's services.
Asked if Sanchez will be replaced if he leaves, Wenger said: "Yes. Look, if Sanchez goes we need to replace him.
"If players like Sanchez go we have of course to respond.
"Will he go or not, I don't know, but at the moment it's the transfer period.
"In this kind of period we try to use the players completely focused on being at the club.
"I don't master the rhythm of that but it could happen today, tomorrow, or not at all.
"That's why I didn't want to travel with him, and then suddenly he could go."
Jordon Ibe and Callum Wilson struck to steal the win for Bournemouth, after Hector Bellerin had put Arsenal ahead.
"We had to do it the hard way again; it's never easy against any team to come back from a losing position," said Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
"There's always a chance you can come back into a game, but to come back and win, and against one of the top teams, that's another boost for us.
"But now we've got to keep the momentum going, we can't relax. That would be dangerous."