Alexis Sanchez returns to London to join up with Arsenal but stopover in Paris sparks more transfer speculation

Chilean foward pictured at Santiago airport with lawyer Ruben Inostroza Povea, heading for a flight to Paris

Evan Bartlett
Monday 31 July 2017 17:55 BST
Sanchez has stalled on a new contract, leading to speculation he will leave Arsenal
Sanchez has stalled on a new contract, leading to speculation he will leave Arsenal (Getty Images)

Alexis Sanchez is flying back to London to join up with his Arsenal teammates but news that he will stopover in Paris has fuelled speculation the forward is holding talks with PSG ahead of a possible transfer to the French capital.

Details of Sanchez's journey were revealed by lawyer Ruben Inostroza Povea, who uploaded a picture of the pair at Santiago airport in Chile.

"PARIS - LONDON with my friend @alexis_officia1," Inostroza wrote in Spanish. "HERE WE GO #TRAVEL #EUROPE #LONDON #2017#HAPPY #LAWYER."

Sanchez was pictured at Santiago airport on Monday afternoon UK time (Instagram/Ruben Inostroza Povea)

The image led some Arsenal fans to question whether the fact he was travelling via Paris with his lawyer was a bad omen for the club.

However, as The Independent reported in 2014 when Sanchez first joined Arsenal, the forward may be going to Paris to renew his British work permit.

The 28-year-old has missed Arsenal's pre-season tours to Australia and China after being given extra time off after competing for his national side in the Confederations Cup.

His refusal to sign a new contract at the club has led to a long summer of transfer speculation, however, with the French club thought to be his most likely destination - if not this year, then when his contract expires next summer.

But manager Arsene Wenger appeared unconcerned about the situation when questioned after the Emirates Cup over the weekend.

"It's an ideal situation," the Frenchman said.

"Everybody has to perform. When you're a football player, you perform until the last day of your contract.

"What does it change when you have two years or one year left to go? When you go onto the pitch, you want to play and do well.

"Do you really think that [players] sit in the dressing room before a game and think, 'Oh, I only have one year to go, I will not play well today'? Where does that come from?"

Sanchez's return to Arsenal training was delayed after the forward posted a picture of himself on Instagram claiming he was sick.

Wenger again appeared unconcerned, confirming that Sanchez would be back at London Colney on Tuesday, although he was unsure of his fitness level ahead of the new season.

"He comes back on Monday night," the Frenchman added.

"We don't know, we have to assess his physical state."

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