Arsene Wenger insists that financial implications are not important when it comes to Alexis Sanchez entering the final year of his Arsenal contract.
The Chilean star has one year remaining on his existing deal and would be able to depart the Emirates Stadium for nothing next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension.
Wenger has remained untroubled by that prospect and says the potential impact of Sanchez on the field next season will outweigh any financial losses if he leaves for free.
Asked for an update on Sanchez’s contract situation ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Stoke City, he said:
‘We have not progressed on that front.
‘At the moment he is a player that goes into the final year of his contract and we make no progress on that front.
‘It is a consequence of what I say unfortunately but we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest.
‘In this case, I prioritise the sporting side.’
The Chilean is in training and could return for the Gunners’ visit to Liverpool next weekend.
Wenger also ruled out selling Oxlade-Chamberlain amid reported interest from Chelsea, and predicted that he is about to develop into one of England’s biggest stars.
“I rate him highly and he’s one of the players who is on his way up. In the last year, he has made huge progress and personally I want him to stay here for a long time,”
“I’m convinced he will be the English player that everybody will look at in the next two years.”
Jack Wilshere played his first game since April with Arsenal’s under-23s on Monday as he steps up his recovery from an ankle fracture, and had also been linked with a permanent move away from the club this summer, but Wenger made it clear that the midfielder remains in his plans — at least for another year.
“I plan for him to be here for the whole season. After, we will see at the end of the season,” Wenger said.