SANCHEZ WANTS TO STAY AT ARSENAL – EMBATTLED WENGER BLASTS CRITICS
Arsene Wenger has admitted finances are at the heart of the Alexis Sanchez contract stand-off, with PSG set to increase their efforts to sign the Arsenal forward.
Wenger is convinced the Chilean wants to stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond the end of his contract in 2018, but talks over an extension made precious little progress before being shelved until the summer.
PSG boss Unai Emery has monitored the uncertainty closely and it is understood that discussions with the 28-year-old’s representatives are being pursued for later this month.
A more appealing option for Sanchez is still believed to be a Bosman switch to Chelsea when his contract is up, which would serve the dual purpose of a move to a club with greater title credentials and enabling him to stay in London, where he has two houses and is happily settled.
Arsenal have already offered terms in the region of £250,000-a-week to sway their standout attacker and Wenger indicated on Friday that if the finances are right Sanchez would stay.
That, however, would seem to underplay Sanchez’s concerns about the club’s competitiveness. His body language in during and after matches this season have betrayed his frustration at an underwhelming campaign.
When asked about forward, Wenger said: ‘I believe that he basically wants to stay at the club, and it’s down to finding an agreement with his agent.
‘The players have to first see whether they are happy at the club. Most of the time it’s down to finding an agreement and the finances are involved in it, yes.’
For Wenger, there has at least been a momentary respite from protests against his management of the club. After three fans lobbied for his exit outside the club’s training ground on Tuesday, the coast was clear when he arrived to discuss Monday’s fixture against Crystal Palace.
The subject of his future remains deeply contentious, though, and he is yet to deliver confirmation that he will sign new terms this summer. He is expected to stay for another two years, but insisted on Friday that it will be the club who make the announcement rather than himself.
When pushed on his decision, he said: ‘That has nothing to do with scoring goals. What you ask of me is to score own goals. It will come from the club.’
However, the Frenchman did confirm that he is working on plans for pre-season, which he claimed was not an indication that he will be the manager ultimately overseeing those activities.
Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny will not face a lengthy absence after injuring his Achilles against Manchester City. Wenger confirmed he will not be fit to face Palace, but said ‘it will be shorter than expected. It’s not a tendon problem’.