Wenger hints at Evans interest but insists Arsenal can't compete with Man City

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The West Brom centre-back has been linked with a switch to Emirates Stadium but the Gunners boss has suggested his side would be "second best" to City

Arsene Wenger concedes Arsenal cannot compete financially with Manchester City, with both clubs having been strongly linked with a January move for Jonny Evans.

As revealed by Goal, City are in negotiations with the Gunners over the purchase of Alexis Sanchez and are reportedly set to go head-to-head with the north Londoners to sign West Brom defender Evans.

And although Wenger was keen to play down the transfer speculation, he admitted that his club are "second best" to City when it was put to him that they could be rivals for Evans's signature.

"It would only be philosophical to talk about [Evans] as long as we do not have any agreement with anybody. The best is not to talk," Wenger said.

"[We would need] to see off any interest of any other clubs, yes, and I don't know if Man City is in for anybody.

"I don't know what is their policy. If the decision comes to finances with Man City we know we will be second best. That is well known."

On Alexis, Wenger confirmed the 29-year-old is in contention for the first leg of the semi-final clash at Stamford Bridge and stuck to a well-trodden path when discussing his future.

"I expect nothing. I am focused on tomorrow's game," he said. "When solicitations happen you respond but at the moment it is very quiet.

"I have nothing to add to what I said before on that.

"To be professional is to perform no matter what the environment is. It is not a big influence on your performance or the performances of the team. It is part of our job to deal with that.

"I have not decided yet if he will play. I will decide today or tomorrow morning."

Arsenal are continuing to work on possible contract extensions for midfielders Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere who, along with Alexis, are now free to discuss terms with clubs outside the Premier League as they are into the last six months of their current deals.

"That's not a big concern overall because I believe that most of the players today want to play in the Premier League.

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"The Premier League can pay contracts and wages that no other club – apart from maybe three or four abroad – can pay."

One man who Wenger confirmed could be on the move this month is Francis Coquelin, with, as revealed by Goal, Valencia leading the race for his signature.

"It's a possibility but nothing is decided," he added. "We have no contact with West Ham."

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