Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are London's only team to play for after Sanchez link

31 March 2017 07:23

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has responded to the latest speculation surrounding Alexis Sanchez's future by saying: "There's only one team in London."

Sanchez, who is yet to sign a new deal with the Gunners, was reported as telling South American media this week that he is happy in London and keen to see out his Arsenal contract which expires next year.

But Sanchez also said he wants to play in a team with a "winning mentality" and in recent days he has been linked with a possible move to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Wenger's response to the latest transfer talk, though, was a lighthearted one.

Asked how he interpreted what Sanchez had said, he said: "In a very positive way. There's only one team in London, so he is happy."

Wenger added of Sanchez: "I think he's happy here. It's true we have not extended his contract yet but I hope he will stay at the club. I think you have to be cautious when people give interviews in their home countries because the interpretation is not always exactly what they wanted to say.

"But I don't see anything negative (in Sanchez's comments). He said he wants to win the championship, that's what everybody wants and I can understand that completely."

The 28-year-old has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks as Arsenal's season has unravelled following a string of defeats.

Sanchez, who is expected to be fit for this weekend's visit of Manchester City after playing twice for Chile during the international break, has yet to agree a new deal despite his current contract expiring in 15 months.

Both he and team-mate Mesut Ozil are reportedly holding out for parity with the Premier League's top earners.

Asked about Arsenal losing their top stars in the past, Wenger said: "That is true that it happened before when we were in positions where we had to sell financially our best players. That's not the case anymore.

"Look, he has one and a half years left on his contract. I don't think it's an immediate concern to Arsenal Football Club.

"They (Sanchez and Ozil) are not out of contract at the end of the season. I personally believe that both of them want to stay and I hope that the club will find an agreement with them."

Wenger offered no update on his contract situation on Thursday - but he did say plans for his future are "not sorted completely".

The Frenchman admitted after the recent 3-1 loss at West Brom that he has made up his mind whether to stay or go without revealing his decision.

And former Gunners striker Ian Wright has criticised "fat cats" at the club for their handling of the situation.

He told the Sun: "This is typical of the lack of leadership and direction at Arsenal. No one is making any decisions. Who's running the club? Arsene is, obviously.

"He's in the position where he can just do what he wants. He should be forced to say what he's going to do.

"Somebody upstairs should be telling him, 'Either you're staying or you're going. You must make an announcement'.

"The people above Arsene, if there is anyone, need to sort everything out. T his wouldn't happen at any other club, but it is at Arsenal because the board are so happy and so relaxed.

"They're fat cats, business people. The club's just a massive cash cow to those people."

Source: PA