Football

Wenger wants transfer distractions to end

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are ready to go on a sustained winning streak after ending a five-match winless run by thrashing Crystal Palace 4-1 at home on Saturday.

Four goals in the first 22 minutes tore Palace to shreds as Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette got one apiece.

The dynamic display was a well-timed rebuttal to the critics who claimed the imminent sale of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United would ruin their already-troubled season.

Wenger expects Chile forward Sanchez to join United by today, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan ready to move in the opposite direction to Arsenal.

The Arsenal manager hopes those deals will allow his players to focus on their performances rather than being distracted by the transfer sagas.

He said: "What is very difficult is, for the first time in January, we were losing one of our big players.

"This period creates a strange feeling in the dressing room. That is why this transfer period in the middle of the season is difficult."

Wenger revealed Sanchez was absent from the Arsenal squad on Saturday as he headed to Manchester to seal a deal.

He refused to comment on Borussia Dortmund's claim that Arsenal have made a bid for their 28-year-old striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. - AFP

Football