Wenger denies Sanchez call down to City bid


Arsene Wenger says Man City target Alexis Sanchez's omission from the line-up at Chelsea was "nothing to do with the transfer market".

The Chilean forward has been the subject of a renewed bid from Premier League leaders Manchester City this month and it is believed that Arsenal may now decide to cash in on Sanchez, who would be able to leave on a free in the summer if he continues to stall on a new contract.

He was left out of Wenger’s starting XI for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge but when asked whether or not his decision to start with his star man on the bench was related to the City situation, Wenger replied: “No. The team selection had nothing to do with the transfer market.”

Sanchez later came off the substitutes’ bench to replace Alexandre Lacazette in the 66th minute, but couldn’t make a decisive contribution.

Speaking after the goalless draw on Wednesday night, Wenger said: “People don’t know Alexis Sanchez. This is a guy completely focused on playing football.

“The performance of Alexis Sanchez and the commitment does not depend on the duration of his contract, just depends on the fact when he’s on the football pitch he wants to play.

“He can make a difference between what’s going on outside and what’s going on on the football pitch. When you come on to the pitch you play football and give 100 per cent. That’s what he does.”

Wenger maintains hope Sanchez will stay.

“I want him to stay for longer,” he added. I have no problem if he signs with us now or in June.”