Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Tuesday insisted unsettled striker Alexis Sanchez is going nowhere, saying he expected him to honour his contract and potentially sign an extension.
The Chilean, 28, has a year left on his Gunners deal but is yet to sign a new contract and has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Reports in Britain have said he could be offloaded for up to 80 million pounds (US$103 million, 90 million euros), but Wenger suggested this won’t happen.
“The players have contracts and we expect them to respect their contracts. That’s what we want,” he said in Sydney about the striker.
Asked if he remained determined to keep Sanchez and not let him go to a Premier League rival, Wenger replied: “Yes, that is a continuation of what I said at the end of the season. That’s what we will do.
“He adds great value to the squad and I think as well he is a great lover of the club.”
Sanchez, who at times last season cut a disgruntled figure as Arsenal struggled with form and uncertainty over Wenger’s future, is not on the team’s pre-season tour to Australia as he rests after last month’s Confederation’s Cup.
But Wenger said reports that the Chilean ace had informed him that he wanted to leave the club were not true, replying with a curt “No”.
He added: “I think the easiest way to manage a player is in the final year of his contract. It is in his interest to do as well as he can.
“Nobody knows today if Sanchez will be on his final year of his contract next season, because he can extend his contract with us at the start of the season or during the season.
“So it is not necessarily the last year of his contract at Arsenal Football Club.”
Arsenal play two pre-season friendlies in Sydney this week, against Sydney FC on Thursday and Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.