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Monday 23 October 2017

Wenger: Sanchez respects call to keep him at Arsenal

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez will respect his decision to keep him at Arsenal.

Sanchez, who has been linked with a move away from the club this summer, took part in an open training session at the Emirates Stadium yesterday ahead of Sunday's Community Shield meeting with Chelsea.

The 28-year-old has only just returned to training having been handed an extended break following his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Chile. Sanchez was initially due back to training on Sunday but that was delayed until Tuesday due to illness.

Speculation over his future continues, with his current Arsenal contract expiring next summer.

Wenger has said on many occasions that Sanchez will not be sold this summer and that he would rather allow the former Barcelona man to leave for nothing when his deal runs out.

"I will not give anything away on (Sanchez) but the only thing I can tell you is that he is focused, and my decision is clear: he will stay and he will respect that. It is as simple as that," he said.

"Every negotiation has to be a little bit secret. The transparency of society is very pushy but we have to resist a little bit, as much as we can.

Focus

"We know as well we have a duty to inform people, but to talk about some things is not information any more - it is suicide.

"I think he will be here this season, and if we can do it for more seasons we will do it as well. The frame of mind of a football player is quite easy. Once you go out and play, you focus on the game and you enjoy it. This is a thing that passes quickly, so enjoy every single moment - and he loves the game so much, and what he does."

Sanchez is not the only player whose deal expires at the end of the campaign, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs also entering the final year of their respective contracts.

Wenger said there was "nothing to announce" on any new deals but did reveal he expects forward Lucas Perez to leave.

The 29-year-old has been frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities. His agent said last week that Perez has been left "angry and sad and upset" by some of the decisions taken by the club, including reallocating his number nine shirt to new signing Alexandre Lacazette.

When asked if he saw Perez's future elsewhere, Wenger replied: "Yes, because we have a congestion of strikers."

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