The Gunners manager believes the Brazilian is a consolation prize at Parc des Princes after failing to land Alexis. Arsene Wenger says Paris Saint-Germain are trying to buy Neymar from Barcelona as they cannot sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
PSG are reportedly willing to meet Neymar’s €222million release clause to sign the Brazilian superstar, although Gerard Pique went on social media on Sunday to say his team-mate was staying.
With Sanchez entering the last season of his contract and seemingly unwilling to sign a renewal at the Emirates Stadium, PSG have been among his mooted suitors.
But a defiant Wenger continues to insist Arsenal will hold onto the Chile international – who was reportedly seen in Paris this week – and risk losing him for nothing when his deal expires in a year’s time.
“No, I don’t think he was in Paris. No,” Wenger said. “Paris Saint-Germain cannot get Sanchez so they go for Neymar.
“I read L’Equipe in the last three or four days. It has moved from Sanchez to Neymar. Today they speak about Neymar, three days ago they speak about Alexis. They need as well, like you [reporters], subjects.
“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that he is not for sale and this is my stance.” Arsenal are among the clubs to have been linked with a world-record move for teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, who Monaco have complained has been the subject of illegal approaches.
And Wenger is clear that the ‘tapping-up’ of top players such as Mbappe and Sanchez is rife within the football world.
“Honestly, it is a problem, I don’t deny that,” Wenger said. “But is there a realistic way to fight against it? That’s the question that I ask. “We’ve fought against this for 20 years but it still happens. How can you check when an agent meets a director from another club or which player speaks to who?
“It happens every day. Monaco do it as well! In the end they sell their players to the clubs who they complain against. I don’t know what we need to do really because no one has found the right solution. But we know it happens and we know in the job that one of the sources of information comes from agents.
“We are respectful with the clubs. We ask them what they want to do and if they don’t want to sell then we don’t insist. For some, that is where the difference is. Once the club says no, some say: ‘ok, we respect that’. And some continue and do not take no for an answer. That maybe is where Monaco complained. If you have top players you cannot stop it from happening. It’s frustrating but you’ve got to fight against it.”