Alexis Sanchez has been told to stay put and accept it.
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Sanchez, 28, trained in front of fans at the Emirates Stadium in an opening training session on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s FA Community Shield game against Chelsea at Wembley.
The Chilean striker returned to training this week for the first time in preseason after having an extended break due to the 2017 Confederations Cup, plus suffering from the flu last week.
Arsene Wenger spoke to the media ahead of the traditional season curtain-raiser and, of course, Sanchez’s future came up.
“I will not give you anything on that. He is focused. My decision is clear – he will stay and he will respect that. It’s as simple as that,” Wenger said. “He rest needs to work on his fitness, but once he’s in the game he’s sharp and looks like he’s never been away. He’s over the flu, and that was never a problem for us. The frame of mind of a football player is quite easy – once you go out and play you enjoy the game. This passes quickly so enjoy every moment. He loves so much the game and what he does.”
Wenger also added that he will not be speaking about Sanchez’s future again.
“It is not information anymore, it is suicide. He will be here for this season and if we manage to do it for more seasons, we will do it as well,” Wenger said.
There you have it. As far as Arsenal are concerned Sanchez is going nowhere and that’s that.
If Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain come in with a huge bid late in the window for Arsenal’s top scorer (he scored 24 goals and added 10 assists in the PL last season) in two of the past three seasons, it will be intriguing to see what Sanchez does.
With his contract up next summer, Sanchez is free to negotiate with teams outside of England in January to set up a free transfer for July 1, 2018.
The clock is ticking but Wenger and Arsenal appear calmer than ever about the situation.