Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed Alexis Sanchez to remain at the Emirates through the January transfer window, questioning whether reported suitors Manchester City actually require his services.
The Premier League leaders have a host of exciting young attacking talent, and it's unclear where Sanchez - who will be 29 by the time the window comes around - would fit into Pep Guardiola's system.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Wenger said: “You say everybody thinks City will come in for Alexis [in January] - I am part of everybody and I don’t think he will go. Do City need him? They have to decide that. But we need him here.”
Wenger also insisted that Sanchez, who has netted just once in seven league games this season, will be on top form against his possible next club when they face off on Sunday.
“I expect him to be motivated against City but that is always the case," he said. "One thing you cannot fault in Alexis Sánchez is his motivation. When he plays for Chile, he plays with passion that is in South America. It’s the same for [his previous club] Barcelona and Arsenal. He is happy when he is on the pitch and that is all he wants.
“Was he close to joining City? No. But at the end of the day, close or not does not matter. It does not have any influence. What is important is that, when you are somewhere and you have the opportunity to give your best, that is what you must do.”