Arsene Wenger insists the days when he was open to selling or loaning players to title rivals are over. 

The Frenchman, who has admitted he blocked Mathieu Debuchy’s loan move to Manchester United in January, claims he will no longer agree to hand over a player to any rival club in the Premier League.

“I hope that’s not surprising to you, if Man United wants to buy a player.” Wenger told a press conference.

“You loan players out to clubs who do not have the resources, but not to direct opponents. There was nothing shocking in that and it’s true, I stand up for that. I was surprised, yes [by United’s attempts to loan Debuchy].”

Debuchy revealed earlier this week that he was “disappointed” to see Wenger decline a deal which would have seen him wear United’s colours for the rest of the season.

“I was disappointed, obviously,” said the right-back. “If I had the chance to go to Manchester United it would have been magnificent.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. I discussed it with the coach too, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival.”

In recent years, the Gunners have benefited from doing business with title rivals after Danny Welbeck departed Manchester United for the Emirates stadium in 2014 before Petr Cech joined from Chelsea last summer.

Robin van Persie was the last player to be sold to a rival club after the Dutchman’s refusal to sign a new contract with Arsenal resulted in a £20m move to Old Trafford.

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