Arsene Wenger has questioned whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was tapped up by Liverpool.
The Arsenal manager said on Thursday it would be naive to think his players are not being tapped up before matches and is unsure whether they were on the day of their 4-0 loss to Liverpool last week.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez were among those who featured at Anfield and the former then signed for Liverpool in a £35million move.
‘You are not naive enough to think that will not happen,’ Wenger said.
‘I don’t know (if it happened before the loss to Liverpool). I don’t know.
‘Have they been tapped up? Of course. But on the day of a game? I don’t think so, I hope not. But it’s inevitable.
‘France played against Holland on the last day of the transfer window. Do you really think that not one French player or Dutch player had phone calls in the afternoon about a move or not?
‘I am not naive enough to believe that. That’s why you have to scrap it before the season starts.’
Wenger suggested he had to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain to ‘quantify the loss of income’ that is set to hit Arsenal. As it stands, the north London club are in line to lose Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for nothing next summer.
On why Oxlade went to Liverpool, Wenger said:
‘Today in the Premier League, you have 107 players who go to the final year of their contract.
‘In every club, part are players that the clubs do not want to extend, and part are players that the clubs want to extend but don’t agree for financial reasons. And we have both sides.
‘So at some stage that means you have to quantify the loss of income. And at the end of the day, you decide, “OK, we can do it for two or three, but not for four or five”.’