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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal may be forced to sell Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in January to prevent the pair leaving on free transfers next summer.
Chile international Sanchez, 28, and German World Cup wnner Ozil, also 28, are both in their final year of their contracts at the Emirates Stadium and have to yet to agree new terms.
So far Wenger has played hardball with the forward pair, insisting this summer that Sanchez would not be sold and stating that the pair must see out their current deals.
But, speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League game against Watford at Vicarage Road, which is live on BT Sport 1 on the eir Sport pack [kick off 5.30pm], the Frenchman admits that the pair could be sold in January.
"It is possible," the Frenchman said.
"Once you're in our kind of situation, we have envisaged every solution, yes."
And, when asked if the club had set a deadline for talks to be resolved, Wenger replied: "No. Not at the moment."
Wenger is still hopeful that Ozil may sign a new deal with the North London club, after his agent Erkut Sogut suggested that negotiations were progressing "in a positive way".
"That's my understanding, yes," he continued.
"I always said the fact that we didn't find an agreement last year doesn't mean the player will necessarily leave. Both players look happy here and overall I hope the situation can be turned around."
Ozil is back in training after recovering from a knee injury and could face the Hornets on Saturday, but Sanchez may not feature after a gruelling journey back from South America following Chile's World Cup qualifier defeat to Brazil.
Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has been ruled out for six weeks with a thigh injury he suffered on international duty with Germany, while fellow centre-half Laurent Koscielny faces a late fitness test on a strained Achilles.
"I don't think Mustafi will be available before the next international break [in November]," Wenger told a news conference on Thursday.
"Koscielny has a definite final test tomorrow. At the moment he is not available. But he trained on his own and the first signs are positive, so we decided to give him a test tomorrow."
Premier League football returns this weekend and you can see Watford take on Arsenal at Vicarage Road on the eir Sport pack, live on BT Sport 1 on Saturday, 14 October [kick-off 5.30pm].
Image: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote.
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