Wenger insists unsettled Sanchez will remain a Gunner

Chile international forward Alexis Sanchez is back in training at the Emirates, but it remains to be seen if he will still be at Arsenal at the end of the transfer window with his contract up at the end of the coming season.
Chile international forward Alexis Sanchez is back in training at the Emirates, but it remains to be seen if he will still be at Arsenal at the end of the transfer window with his contract up at the end of the coming season.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Alexis Sanchez that he will not be sold to another English football club this summer, after the forward finally returned to training with the Gunners on Tuesday amid persistent speculation the Chile international is keen to leave.

Sanchez - whose contract expires next at the end of the upcoming campaign - missed Arsenal's pre-season tour of Australia and China, as well as last weekend's Emirates Cup tournament, as he rested following his exploits at the Confederations Cup.

The 28-year-old was due to resume training with his Arsenal team-mates on Sunday, but he was unable to fly back to London until Tuesday after coming down with the flu.

When asked if there had been developments over Sanchez's future, Wenger said: "There's no development - he is staying, of course.

"When you are a player, you perform until the last day of the contract.

"Do you really think you sit in the dressing room before a game and say, 'Oh I've only got a year to go on my contract so I won't play well?'

"If that was true, we would sign everybody for 20 years.

"I'm not convinced the length of the contract has any impact on the performance."

Wenger, though, has not completely ruled out selling Sanchez to a foreign club if Arsenal receive a significant offer before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.

Some cynical Arsenal fans feared Sanchez's illness was a ruse to further distance himself from the Gunners as he weighs up whether to push for a transfer.

His decision not to accept a lucrative new Arsenal deal, which remains on the table, has sparked interest from Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus.

However, just hours after posting a picture on Instagram of himself and his dogs next to a private jet on Tuesday, Sanchez added a photo of him running and wrote: "Back to training!", implying that he was happy to be back in London.

FA Cup holders Arsenal next face Premier League champions Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, and Wenger has said that he would have to check on Sanchez's fitness before deciding if he would play.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2017, with the headline 'Wenger insists unsettled Sanchez will remain a Gunner'. Print Edition | Subscribe