Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains adamant that Alexis Sanchez is not for sale after the Frenchman dismissed the Chilean forward’s comments about wanting to play in the Champions League as meaning he is pushing to leave.
The 28-year-old’s current deal at the Emirates expires in 2018 but Wenger says the Chile international will not be sold despite little sign of a new contract being agreed.
“The decision has been made and we will stick to that,” Wenger told reporters during the club’s pre-season tour in China. “The decision is not to sell.”
British media reported on Sunday that Sanchez, who was the club’s top scorer last season with 30 goals, would leave North London after saying he wanted to play in and win the Champions League.
Arsenal did not qualify for the competition following their fifth-placed league finish last season and Wenger believes that Sanchez’s quotes were mistranslated when he spoke to Chilean radio station Radio Sport.
“I don’t give too much importance to things that are translated, you know,” Wenger added. “The whole interview that I got didn’t really mean that.
“The main focus for us is to concentrate on the Premier League and the Premier League for me today is more important than the Champions League.
“We played 20 years in the Champions League, that’s 17 years before Sanchez arrived and three years with him so he can get us back in there.”
Wenger added that the transfer of striker Robin van Persie to Manchester United during the final year of his contract in 2012 shared no similarities with Sanchez’s situation.
“Every case is different, Van Persie was going from 30 to 31, when he left he had one year on his contract,” Wenger said.
“Sanchez is younger.”
Arsenal begin the Chinese leg of their pre-season tour with a match against German champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday.