By Noel Whelan

26th Nov, 2022 | 2:34pm

Pundit issues '100%' verdict as Man City block superstar exits - 'you can't avoid it'

Noel Whelan has claimed Man City may find it hard to avoid selling key stars to Arsenal with players preferring to remain in the Premier League.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Citizens should “trust” in their ability to secure replacements like Erling Haaland in the transfer market.

Man City sources told this site on Saturday (19 November) that the Premier League champions will not sell any more first-team stars to Arsenal.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joined the Gunners for a combined £75million during the summer window.

It is understood that questions are now being asked at the Etihad Stadium about why they were allowed to join a title rival.

Arsenal lead Man City by five points atop the Premier League after 14 games.

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Whelan claimed “you can’t avoid” selling to rivals with the English top-flight the most attractive in world football.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Man City were just being fair to their players.

“Pep Guardiola was willing to let them go because he knew that they could replace them. They let Jesus go and replaced him with Haaland.

“If you asked 100 people, I’m pretty sure 100% would say that Haaland is the better player.

“Arsenal are the finished article now. That’s for sure – and these two players were a big part of that.

“Players want to stay in the Premier League, so you can’t avoid these kinds of deals.

“Man City should just trust in their ability to replace these guys with better players, because that’s what they’ve always done.”

In other news, Football Insider updates with Man City owners plotting exit after director resigns.