Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to keep Alexis Sanchez at the club despite the Chile forward’s contract expiring at the end of this season.
When asked during his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Stoke if Sanchez will sign a new deal, Wenger replied: “Look, at the moment no, because we have not progressed on that front. 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.”
Wenger added he would be willing to let Sanchez leave for free next season, but refused to compare his player’s situation with Diego Costa’s at Chelsea.
He added: “That 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.
“No, I don’t think that Costa has only one year to go. I don’t think there is any comparison at all, because we want him to be with us and Chelsea does not necessarily want that.”
When asked if he would support the proposed early closing of transfer window, Wenger said:
“I support it, of course. For the regularity of the season, it’s better because you can have a player who you could play against three times if the transfer window is not closed when you start the season. That doesn’t look normal.
“Also, for the psychological comfort and focus of the manager. It’s difficult to start the season with a team and have some players in the squad who are not completely on board. You can understand that, once everyone’s on the train, they stay on the train.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been linked with an Arsenal exit, but Wenger insists the winger will stay.
The Frenchman added: “Yes, he’ll stay. Personally, because I rate him highly and he’s one of the players who is on his way up. In the last year, he has made huge progress and I want him to stay here for a long time. I’m convinced he will be the English player that everybody will look at in the next two years.
“I have regular conversations with the players where I tell them where I stand and they know what I want and where I stand on that front.”
Wenger has also revealed that he will keep Jack Wilshere, who is in the final year of his contract.
“At the moment, yes (we’ll keep him). I think I plan for him to be here for the whole season, after we will see at the end of the season.
Lucas Perez, who joined Arsenal only last season, is on his way out, according to Wenger.
“There’s a possibility [he could leave this month]. I opened the door for him because I have many strikers. If he finds a good opportunity, I will help him.”
Wenger says he is pleased that none of his player’s has submitted a transfer request like Philippe Coutinho has done at Liverpool.
“Yes, I’m very happy about that, because I believe it’s important that you have a serene atmosphere inside, and clarity as well about your commitment,” he added.
“That’s why we spoke about the transfer window. It’s important that the players are not half in and half out, but completely in.”