Arsene Wenger has insisted that Alexis Sanchez will not be sold to a Premier League rival this summer, and that he will keep the Chilean at the club for the duration of his contract at least.
However, the Arsenal manager said he believes the 28 year old wants to stay with the club, and the issues over extending are down to the terms of the contract on offer and not because he wants out.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League clash with Leicester, and just days after Alexis scored the winner at Wembley send us to our third cup final in four years, Wenger was steadfast that the likes of Chelsea and Man City would have to look elsewhere this summer.
“If he doesn’t sign a new deal, will I make him stay? Yes,” he said.
“Would I rather keep him than sell him to a Premier League rival? Yes. I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure. Why not?
“The question is more why would you sell him to another Premier League club? You want to be as strong as you can be and not strengthen the other teams.”
And on his future, he sounded confident that terms could be agreed.
“I think he will sign and stay because, first of all, he is happy here,” he continued.
“His desire is to stay. That is what I deeply believe. The disagreements are purely contractual – not on the desire.
“Both parties have the desire to find an agreement, so I think it will happen.”
Arsenal will wait until the summer to hold talks with Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with all the focus right now on the final seven Premier League games and the FA Cup final on May 27th.