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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Arsene Wenger is ready to accept the financial 'sacrifice' of keeping Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal

Chilean continues to be linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium as he enters final year of his contract.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez during the Community Shield at Wembley, London. Joe Giddens / PA
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez during the Community Shield at Wembley, London. Joe Giddens / PA

Arsene Wenger is ready to accept the financial "sacrifice" of keeping Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal and admits there has been no progress on a new deal for the forward.

The Chile international has been linked with a move away from the club this summer with less than a year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger has insisted several times that Sanchez will not be sold - although links with Manchester City continue - and that he would rather lose the player for nothing at the end of the current campaign.

Sanchez has not played for Arsenal this season, returning late to training following his Confederations Cup exertions before missing the 4-3 win over Leicester City with an abdominal strain.

Rumours persist that a move away is on the cards with Wenger so far resisting the temptation to cash in on the 28-year-old forward.

The Frenchman insisted last week it was his decision not to sell Sanchez and he is more than prepared to miss out on a pay-day by sticking to his guns.

"Let's not be wrong, it's not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice," he said.

"But first of all it doesn't mean the players who are in the final year of their contract will not extend their contract. You have still that possibility and we work on that as well."

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Wenger added that possibly allowing Sanchez to leave for free "is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately.

"But we have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest and most of the time if you can find a good compromise, it's better. But in this case, I think I prioritise the fact that he will be useful on the sporting side."

Wenger was speaking ahead of Arsenal's trip to Stoke ity on Saturday, where Sanchez will again miss out, and said that there had been no headway made on tying the former Barcelona man down to a new contract.

"We have not progressed on that front," he said.

"At the moment he is a player who goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season. We have not made any progress on the other front."

However, Wenger took the positives out of the fact neither Sanchez nor England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - who has been linked with a move to champions Chelsea - had handed in a transfer request, unlike Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho who wants to move to Barcelona.

"Yes, I am very happy about that," Wenger said. "It's important you have a serene atmosphere inside and clarity about your commitment.

"It's important the players aren't half in and half out, and they are completely in."

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Wenger is adamant Oxlade-Chamberlain will remain and predicted great things for him.

"I'm convinced that he will be in the next two or three years the English player everyone looks at," said the Frenchman.

Wenger, who signed a new contract of his own after Arsenal salvaged a disappointing last season by beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final, said he agreed with the likes of Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp that the transfer window should close before the season starts, rather than August 31, as is currently the case.

"I would support it," Wenger said. "It's better for the season, for our psychological comfort as a manager."

Meanwhile, German defender Shkodran Mustafi and Frenchman Francis Coquelin are in contention for a place in the side to play Stoke.

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