Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appears to have suggested 'tapping up' might hold some of the blame for his side 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool prior to the international break, as at least a couple of his players were angling for a move at that time.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez both played in that game, with neither lasting more than 62 minutes as the Gunners wilted and Liverpool ran riot.

Oxlade-Chamberlain left for Anfield just days later, while Sanchez was also desperate to leave the club and join Manchester City. It was therefore a surprise that either played at all given the ongoing distractions off the field.


"You are not naive enough to think that will not happen. Have they been tapped up? Of course," Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph as he spoke the press this week.

He seemed to suggest that 'tapping up' on the day of a game was unlikely, but then concluded instead that it was probably 'inevitable'.

"On the day of a game? I don't think so. I hope not. But it's inevitable," he said.

"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? I'm not naive enough to believe that. That's why you have to scrap it before the season starts.

"Many things happen in the last second, which I regret.

"You sit there before the games and, in players' minds, they have no clarity. Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It's not the way to work and it's uncomfortable."

Arsenal were among 14 Premier League clubs who voted this week to have the summer transfer deadline brought forward to before the start of next season.

"Every single manager in the league would agree that it’s time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half out and half in," Wenger added.