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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Arsene Wenger coy on PSG interest in Alexis Sanchez as Chilean ruled out for Premier League opener

  • Striker to miss Friday's game against Leicester City and match against Stoke City
  • Wenger says Paris Saint-Germain more interested in signing Kylian Mbappe
Alexis Sanchez says he is committed to playing for Arsenal. Nigel French / Press Association
Alexis Sanchez says he is committed to playing for Arsenal. Nigel French / Press Association

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Alexis Sanchez will miss the first two Premier League games of the season through injury and refused to deny that big-spending Paris Saint-German have bid for his star striker.

The Chile international has been on extended leave following his participation in the Confederations Cup this summer and Wenger said on Wednesday Sanchez will miss the club's opening match of the 2017/18 league campaign against Leicester City at home on Friday and the following weekend away to Stoke City with an abdominal strain.

Wenger has spent most of the summer fending off questions about the future of his prized asset. The 28-year-old forward has entered into the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium and could walk away for free next summer. He is free to begin negotiating with foreign clubs as of January 1.

Manchester City are known long-time admirers of the former Barcelona player but reports emanating from France suggested the Parisians are looking to bolster their attacking ranks further following last week's world-record deal to bring Neymar to the French capital from Barcelona.

But Wenger said he had not heard from PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi and referred to French media reports suggesting PSG are more interested in signing Monaco's Kylian Mbappe.

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Asked if any bids had been lodged for Sanchez, the Frenchman replied: "I can't tell you that at the moment. I just think we are not open - what I said to you many times - to any offers, anyway," Wenger told a press conference at Arsenal's London Colney base.

"It's a long time I didn't speak to Nasser, because it's certainly very busy to complete the transfer of Neymar

Asked if he expected Al Khelaifi to get in touch, Wenger replied: "No, no. I think if you read the French papers, they are on Mbappe's case to finish their transfer market."

Wenger said Sanchez picked up an abdominal strain in training before Sunday's penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea and that he expected him to miss the trip to the Potteries to face Stoke as well as Friday's Premier League opener against Leicester.

"He had a scan two days ago and he's out for a while," Wenger told reporters. "I don't know if it is two weeks or one more week, but he will not be available. I think he will not play at Stoke, yes."

Wenger admitted entering the new campaign without Sanchez is a blow for Arsenal as they look to re-establish themselves among the league's elite having missed out on a top-four spot last term.

"For us Alexis Sanchez is a loss, of course," he said. "But we have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready. It can happen in pre-season and anyway, I don't think I would have included him on Friday night. I don't think I would have started him."

After Arsenal's Wembley win on Sunday, Wenger admitted he was looking to trim his squad before the transfer window closes.

But he is no closer to shifting those deemed surplus to requirements as he believes many Premier League clubs are in the same position.

"No," he replied when asked whether any players are closer to departing the club.

"Yesterday I had the managers' meeting and was talking with the other managers in the other clubs. It looks like everywhere there is many, many players and a bit of congestion at the moment everywhere."