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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are facing up to the “sacrifice” of allowing Alexis Sanchez to leave for nothing next summer.
Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona in a £35m deal in 2014, but is out of contract next summer and has been linked with a move to the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Manchester City.
Arsenal do not want to sell the wantaway striker, who has been stalling on signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium, and Wenger says the board back his stance of making the 28-year-old see out the final year of his contract.
“Let’s not be wrong, it’s not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice,” he said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit to Stoke, a
“But first of all it doesn’t mean the players who are in the final year of their contract will not extend their contract.
“You have still that possibility and we work on that as well.
“That [possibility of allowing Sanchez to leave for free next summer] is a consequence of what I say, yes, unfortunately.
“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.”
Wenger also insists midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be sold this summer despite increasing interest from Chelsea.
The Gunners have already rejected a £25m bid from Premier League champions Chelsea for the 23-year-old, who is also out of contract next summer.
“Yes, he is staying here. Why? Personally, because I rate him highly and he’s one of the players who is on his way up,” Wenger said.
“In the last year, he has made huge progress and personally 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 at the end of the season.”