Arsene Wenger hits back at media insisting Alexis Sanchez relationship at Arsenal is 'honest and normal'

The Chilean was dropped for the defeat at Liverpool after falling out with a teammate in training, something Gunners boss Wenger strenuously denies

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Arsene Wenger has claimed that reports of a bust-up between Alexis Sanchez and the rest of the Arsenal players are “completely false” and that his relationship with the unsettled Chilean star is “honest and normal”.

The Independent has been told that there was an angry disagreement in training last week that led to Sanchez getting dropped for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, but Wenger denied the reports.

“I am not aware. Nothing happened. Nothing at all… completely false. But I understand that you have to fill the newspapers and we respect that. When you don’t win games it’s not always down to real stories and we have to accept that.

“I explained after the game at Liverpool that I decided to go for a more direct option in the game. That’s what happened. That was the unique reason for my decision. All the rest, his attitude - he’s a committed player and sometimes has excessive behaviours but you have that many times in the history of every squad.

Asked about his relationship with Sanchez, who is now widely believed to be considering a move in the summer, Wenger said it is “honest and normal - like with every single player”.

“Alexis has 15 months of his contract so the decision of will he be here or not will depend completely on Arsenal Football Club and not on anybody else.”

Club captain Per Mertesacker was sitting alongside Wenger for all of this and expressed bemusement when asked about Sanchez’s relationship with the rest of the squad.

“I don’t understand the question, honestly I don’t. Because we’ve got every single day where we come in and try to train. He [the manager] has got a lot of options now. He has got 25 options now, so it is very difficult for him to decide who is in the squad and who is playing. I approach every training that everyone wants to push really to get that start in the squad, to be in line up.

"That’s about chances and taking chances. It’s not about individual players and that is what this club is about. It is not going to be about one single player and all these questions about one player is very disruptive to our team and tomorrow we have got a game to face tomorrow that is really important to our team, not to one individual player.”