The latest on Alexis Sanchez as he returns to Arsenal

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Alexis Sanchez has returned to Arsenal’s training ground at London Colney.

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The Chilean striker was given extra time off after reaching the final of the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia in June, but just ahead of his return he posted on social media that he was suffering from the flu.

Sanchez, 28, was supposed to return to training on Sunday but was given an extra two days off to recover from illness and it has been reported he flew on a private jet from Chile to Paris and then on to London.

He still hasn’t signed a new deal at Arsenal — in case you’ve been living under a rock he has 12 months left on his current deal — and the Chile star stopping off in Paris, home of Paris Saint-Germain who continue to chase his signature, has raised a few eyebrows. However, it is believed that Sanchez’s stop-off was a routine one and just for his plane to be refueled.

It is also believed Sanchez will take part in an open training session at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, even if he can’t take part in the entire session. Sanchez has an outside chance of being available for the FA Community Shield against Chelsea this weekend at Wembley and seems more likely to be ready for the PL season opener against Leicester City on Aug. 11.

Arsene Wenger has stated repeatedly over the summer that Sanchez will stick around this season but with Manchester City, PSG and others chasing him, maybe now he has returned to the training ground his future will be sorted out in the coming week.

Wenger spoke over the weekend about Arsenal being in an “ideal” situation when it comes to Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and others entering the final year of their respective contracts. Quite why Arsenal can afford to let all of these players is beyond me, but what Wenger is perhaps trying to get at is a change in the nature of business and players holding off signing new deals until they see what else is out there as free agents.

Could Sanchez and Ozil really run down their deals and agree to leave for nothing in January to a non-PL club?

Whatever happens, the hearts of Arsenal’s fans will flutter at the sight of Sanchez smiling and back on the training ground.