Gunners chief says £40m-rated striker is ‘happy’ at Emirates amid interest from Chelsea, Man City, United, PSG and Bayern
ARSENE WENGER has vowed Arsenal are not going to sell Alexis Sanchez to a Premier League rival this summer.
Boss Wenger is also adamant the Chilean superstar will still be at the Emirates next season — even if it means losing him as a free agent in 2018.
Sanchez, 28, has one season left on his contract and has refused the club’s efforts to get him to sign a new deal.
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Chelsea, Manchester City and United, plus European giants Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are all eager to sign the 24-goal striker.
Arsenal can expect to pocket £40million for a player they paid Barcelona £33m for in 2014.
But Wenger will snub any offers to keep his top scorer out of the clutches of Arsenal’s top-flight rivals.
He said: “We do not sell Alexis to any Premier League club, that is for sure.
“Why would we? Our aim is to be as strong as we can, not strengthen other teams.”
Asked whether Sanchez will definitely be made to stay at Arsenal next season, even if he does not sign a new deal, Wenger replied: “Yes but we are not in that situation at the moment.”
However, if he does see out his contract, he could still move to another Prem club in a year’s time.
Wenger added: “In your job you are always painting the most dreadful situation but I am confident he will sign a new contract this summer.
“First of all, he is happy here and his desire is to stay. That is what I deeply believe.
“The disagreements are purely contractual but both parties have the desire to find an agreement. So I think it will happen.”
Negotiations with Sanchez have been put on hold until the summer after his agents demanded a staggering £300,000 A WEEK — a sum that would wreck the club’s pay structure.
Although Wenger is ready to let Sanchez run his contract down, it is unlikely chief executive Ivan Gazidis will be quite so happy to lose the club’s star player for nothing. Arsenal faced a similar dilemma in 2012 when Robin van Persie refused a new deal and was sold to Man Utd for £24m.
Wenger insists he has no regrets about that deal — even though the Dutch striker helped United win the league title the next season.
The Frenchman, 67, added: “People always say a player is irreplaceable but we let Van Persie go and we scored more goals.
“I let him go in the last year of his contract because he was 29 and coming up to 30.
“That is not the case with Alexis, who is 28, so it is different.
“When a player signs for four years as Alexis did, you deduct 25 per cent of the contract each year.
“The inflation is so big today that sometimes, mathematically, there can be advantages to keep a player until the end of a contract.
“You always have to think can you find better and how much will it cost?” Arsenal are seventh in the table and seven points adrift of the top four but have games in hand.
Wenger admits they need to win their seven remaining Prem games if they are to qualify for the Champions League for a 20th successive season.
So he will be relying on Sanchez again tonight against Leicester following his extra-time winner in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against City.
He said: “Alexis has been remarkably efficient this season.
“It’s strange because the difficulty of the game makes him more focused. He sometimes has problems to get into the game at the start then becomes stronger and more determined.
“He tests himself to find ways to become more dangerous.”
LIKELY LINE-UP: Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal, Ozil, Welbeck, Sanchez.