The Chile international was reportedly desperate to bring an end to his three-year stay in North London this summer following serious interest from City boss Pep Guardiola.
Arsenal are understood to have accepted a bid in excess of £60m from the Citizens on deadline day, only to pull the plug when missing out on top attacking replacement Thomas Lemar, who instead decided to stay at Monaco.
Wenger concedes that Arsenal have taken a calculated risk by keeping hold of Sanchez, as he is almost certain to leave the Emirates Stadium in 10 months' time as a free agent.
"You take Sanchez into the final year of your contract, you sacrifice £60m-£70m income and then at the end of the season you will have to buy somebody for that amount of money," he told beIN Sports. "So it has a huge price. So at some stage you have to make a decision you have to sacrifice one or two [players].
"We have today 107 players in England who go into the final year of their contract. It's a complete rotation and change in the way people see their careers for two reasons. One, all the players expect higher wages because they anticipate inflation; [and two] because the transfer market has gone up so much but clubs do not want to pay so high prices on transfers for players who are good players but will not change their life.
"The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth. I give you one example: no matter how well you work as a football coach, Dembele last year was €15m, this year €150m. No matter how well you work on the football pitch you cannot make a player go from €15m to €150m. But the calculation between investment and what you can get back has gone. It's just: can you afford to buy or not?"
Man City are expected to tempt Arsenal with a reduced £20m offer for Sanchez when the transfer window reopens for business in January.