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11-01-2018 | 11:22 Football

Arsene Wenger: 'Alexis Sanchez bench role nothing to do with transfers'

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has stressed that his decision to start Alexis Sanchez on the bench in their EFL Cup meeting with Chelsea "was nothing to do with transfers".

The Chile international, whose the London club contract expires in the summer, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation over the last 12 months. Sanchez was among the substitutes when Arsenal took on Chelsea in their semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge but came on in place of Alexandre Lacazette in the 66th minute. Speaking to BBC Sport after Wednesday night's encounter, which finished goalless, Wenger claimed that Sanchez's omission from the starting XI was a purely tactical choice. "I thought I would bring him on after an hour," the Frenchman said. "I knew we had to defend more and he could make the decision in the last 30 minutes. It was nothing to do with transfers."

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England, Premier League