Arsenal will not sell Alexis Sanchez for 'sporting' reasons
Arsene Wenger will not sell and is prepared to risk losing the player on a free transfer next summer
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Arsene Wenger has spoken candidly about the future of Alexis Sanchez and insisted the best option is to ensure he honours the last year of his contract - even if it means allowing him to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The Chilean frontman is in the final year of his Gunners deal and summer speculation has suggested a move to Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain is a possibility before the end of August. But Wenger has never deviated from his position of stating Sanchez will stay at the club until next June.
The 28-year-old sat out the 4-3 win over Leicester on Friday with an abdominal strain but Wenger insists he will be back in action as he soon as he's fit regardless of his contract conundrum.
"Let's not be wrong, it's not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice," said the Arsenal manager in comments reported by Talksport. "But first of all it doesn't mean the players who are in the final year of their contract will not extend their contract. You have still that possibility and we work on that as well."
Asked about the possibility of Sanchez leaving on a free transfer, Wenger replied: "That is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately. But we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest, and most of the time if you can find a good compromise, it's better. But in this case, I think I prioritise the fact that he will be useful on the sporting side."
Confirming that Sanchez will not be fit in time to make Arsenal's trip to Stoke on Saturday, Wenger said no headway had been made on persuading the South American to pen a new contract. "We have not progressed on that front," he said. "At the moment he is a player who goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season. We have not made any progress on the other front."
Alexis Sanchez transfer news: PSG still keen on Arsenal star
There are times when it's hard to keep up in the turbulent world of transfer talk and today is one such occasion.
Yesterday it was reported that Paris Saint-Germain, who signed Neymar for £198m last week, were preparing to pay more silly money - around £90m this time - for Monaco ace Kylian Mbappe. But now The Independent claims that the French giants are, astonishingly, "still in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez" and could table a bid of £80 by the end of this week.
Uncertainty continues to surround the future of the Chilean striker at the Emirates and PSG apparently want to test the resolve of Arsenal "by putting forward the type of financial package that proves too good to turn down".
Arsene Wenger said at the start of the week that he wanted to trim his squad before making a move for Thomas Lemar and offloading Sanchez for a sizeable sum would certainly raise the funds to lure the Monaco ace to north London.
The Indy claims that PSG are willing to offer Sanchez up to £400,000 a week, "in a bid to turn the player's head", aware that they there are of rumours suggesting the South American will see out the last year of his contract with the Gunners before joining Manchester City next summer.
Similarly, the day after Liverpool were linked with a £28m move for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain comes news in the Daily Express that in fact it's Chelsea who are closing in on the England winger. Claiming that the Blues have "made a £25m bid" for the Ox, the paper says that Arsenal have "rebuffed their offer" and will fight tooth and nail to retain the 23-year-old winger.
Arsenal transfer news: Monaco restart Alexis Sanchez rumours
The Neymar saga may be over, but unsettled Arsenal ace Alexis Sanchez is back in the spotlight after Monaco hatched a cunning plan to land the forward, reports The Sun.
It claims that the French champions will use Arsenal's interest in their midfielder, Thomas Lemar, "to try to tempt" Arsene Wenger into giving them the Chilean in a swap deal.
On Thursday the Arsenal boss reiterated that Sanchez wouldn't be sold, telling reporters at a press conference: "My decision is clear, he will stay. He will accept that… I think he will be here for this season. If we manage to do it for more seasons we will."
But Monaco have other ideas, claims the Sun, and they will "test Arsenal’s resolve with a £45m bid" for the player the paper describes as a "contract rebel".
The South American is refusing to pen a new deal beyond the one that expires in June and Monaco are quietly confident that Arsenal would rather bank £45m now than let him leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. The Monaco side are certainly not short of cash having made nearly £150m in transfer fees this summer through the sales of Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
As for Lemar, Arsenal are apparently still "keen" on the Monaco ace but it looks as though the French side will sell only if an agreement can be reached on Sanchez.
Meanwhile Metro claims that the Gunners "have seen a bid for Ousmane Dembele rejected by Borussia Dortmund" with the German outfit demanding an eye-watering £90m in return for the 20-year-old.
Apparently Paris Saint-Germain have called off the chase after signing Neymar and Real Madrid are also losing interest. That leaves Arsenal as Dembele's main suitors, but according to German paper Bild, Dortmund are determined to keep the France international, described as "one of the hottest prospects in European football".
If the Gunners are dead set on landing the young frontman it will cost them £90m but Metro says it is "unlikely that Arsene Wenger would sanction such a huge transfer fee".
Sanchez to stay at Arsenal as Neymar closes PSG escape route
Alexis Sanchez returned to training with Arsenal on Wednesday and according to The Sun the Chilean frontman has "held showdown talks with Arsene Wenger" in which the paper claims he was offered a new £290,000-a-week deal.
Although there has been no official response from Sanchez to the new offer, the fact that PSG have wrapped up the signing of Neymar means the French giants are no longer interested in the South American.
Bayern Munich have already dropped out of the running on account of his wage demands and with Wenger vetoing a move to Manchester City Sanchez's options have run out.
That fact, allied to the new offer from Arsenal, suggests that Sanchez will remain at the Emirates this season. That looked a remote possibility a few weeks ago when he rejected a £275,000-a-week offer from Arsenal but the Sun says "he is set to stay" in north London at least until his current deal expires next June.
Another Gunner who doesn't seem to going anywhere in the near future is David Ospina with the Daily Mail reporting that the Colombian goalkeeper intends to stay at the Emirates and fight Petr Cech for the number one jersey.
In conversation with Spanish newspaper AS, Ospina was asked about his future and the rumours linking him with a move to the Turkish league. "I have a contract here, I'm happy and I'm going to fight to the end. I want to continue and win a job," the gloveman replied.
Finally, the ball appears to be in Arsenal's court as far as Riyad Mahrez is concerned after comments from Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare as to the possibility of a move to the Emirates. Metro reports that the Foxes gaffer was asked about Mahrez at a press conference, and he explained that the Algerian winger definitely had his heart set on a new challenge but one in England and not overseas.
"He wants to play for a top six [Premier League] club," said Shakespeare. "If we don't get an offer from a top six club, he stays."