Wenger on Alexis, Lacazette and spending

The future of Alexis has been a hot topic in recent weeks – and Arsene Wenger was once more asked about it in his press conference ahead of the Bayern Munich match.

The Arsenal manager was asked by the media for his thoughts on an interview Alexis did while back in Chile, and also about the spending power of Premier League clubs.

Here is a transcript of what he said:

on Alexis’ comments in Chile…
I do not give too much importance to things that are translated. The whole interview, which I got, did not really mean that [he only wants Champions League football]. The main focus for us is on the Premier League, that for me is more important than the Champions League. 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.

on being convinced that he will stay…
I can only reiterate what I said before.

on if he’s spoken to Alexis since quotes came out…
No.

on if it’s similar to Van Persie…
Not really. Every case is different. 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.

on Man United signing Lukaku and Lacazette joining Arsenal – PL making big step on transfers…
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. That explains the amount of transfer.

on if Lacazette has met expectations… 
With Lacazette it’s too early for any assessment and any judgement on how well he will do.

on whether being out of the Champions League improves our chances in the Premier League… 
No, not really. We have a group of player who are top quality. 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. When we played in the Champions League, everyone said, ‘is that all you do?’ and when you do not do it, suddenly it becomes a major problem. At the end of the season, only one team will win the Champions League and all the others will be out. So we have to focus on the competitions that we play in and prepare seriously for that, and not feel sorry for that we do not play.

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