Arsene Wenger has admitted the proposed plan not to sell Alexis Sanchez this season could carry financial risks as the Chilean star is in the final year of his contract.
In an article by the Guardian, the French coach made the comments as he explained that his decision to strengthen the Gunners' on-field position - as opposed to their financial one - carries with it an obvious monetary disadvantage considering Sanchez could leave north London for free next summer.
Although Sanchez could sign a new deal with Arsenal before his contract expires, Wenger's comments regarding the issue didn't bring much optimism in negotiations being successful at present.
“At the moment no, because we have not progressed on that front,” Wenger said when asked whether Sánchez will sign a new deal.
“He is a player who goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season.”
Pressed on whether that means he was willing to let the Chile international depart for nothing, Wenger continued: “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.”
He admitted it was not a perfect state of affairs but left the door open for Sánchez to sign a contract that has been on the table since last season.
“Look, let’s not be wrong, it’s not an ideal situation on the financial side and it demands some sacrifice,” he said.
“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.”