Arsene Wenger Says Alexis Sanchez 'Will Stay and He Will Respect That'
Alexis Sanchez must "respect" Arsenal's decision to keep hold of him - as footage shows the contract rebel seemingly kissing the club's crest.
The striker's future at the Emirates is still unresolved almost a year after the headlines about him turning down a new deal emerged, and plenty of gossip columns have been filled about where Sanchez will ply his trade next month or 12 months down the line.
However, in quotes published by BBC Sport, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger explained why the 28-year-old would have to deal with his manager's decision to retain his services heading into the 2017/18 campaign.
Wenger said: "The only thing I can tell you is he is focused. My decision is clear - he will stay and he will respect that.
"He will be here for this season and if we manage to do it for more seasons, we will do that as well."
Wenger's comments ahead of Sunday's Community Shield match against Chelsea comes in the wake of a video appearing to show Sanchez plant a cheeky peck on Arsenal's badge during a recent training session.
The footage uploaded to Twitter shows the Chile international conversing with Nacho Monreal and, for a brief moment, he leans down and kisses the club's crest situated on his sweatshirt.
That, coupled with Wenger's quotes, has given Arsenal fans fresh hope that the ex-Barcelona and Udinese star will remain in north London for a good while yet - particularly with interest in his services going quiet across a variety of media outlets.
Sanchez has been linked with possible switches to Premier League rivals Manchester City, Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich and French giants Paris Saint-Germain, but with the latter's shock pursuit of Neymar dominating the headlines, talk of Sanchez has quietened down recently.
The talismanic forward was granted an extended summer break following his international excursions at the 2017 Confederations Cup in the summer, but he only returned to training with his club on Tuesday after suffering a bout of illness.
Sanchez has left than 12 months left on his current Gunners deal, but Arsenal have so far been reluctant to indulge his reported £280,000-a-week wage demands.