Arsene Wenger is obstinately digging in over Alexis Sanchez’s future, leading many close to the player and manager to believe that the Chilean could yet stay at Arsenal next season.
While the 28-year-old is now widely believed to desire a move to Manchester City - and a reunion with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola - above all else, and is refusing to sign a new contract at the Emirates as his current deal runs out next year, there is still no willingness on the part of Wenger to let him go to a rival.
It had been felt that a move to Bayern Munich could be on, as they had been making progress in June over a prospective transfer that would at least have been more palatable to the Arsenal boss, but the German champions have ultimately baulked at the high price demanded by Wenger.
Given that Arsenal are far less enthusiastic about Sanchez staying in England than going to Bayern, it would effectively take the kind of mega-offer - potentially above £90m - to change the French coach’s mind and actually make the deal happen.
Wenger is well aware of the prospective symbolism surrounding such a move as much as anything else, though, and is currently prepared to reject all offers. Some close to the Chilean’s have started to talk about the idea of preparing for another season at the Emirates, and running out his contract.
Much could also depend on the type of players Arsenal would be able to line up as potential replacements, as they maintain an interest in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
It hasn’t been overlooked that Sanchez turns 29 in December, and there is an opportunity to freshen things up and look to the future, but Wenger - who recently signed a new two-year contract himself - is naturally far more concerned with the present and feels that Arsenal can very quickly challenge again, with Sanchez in the side.
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