Arsene Wenger has suggested that Alexis Sanchez could still be persuaded to sign a new contract at Arsenal, as he closes in on his return to first-team action.
The 28-year-old, now into the final year of his existing deal, has yet to feature for the Gunners this term due to an abdominal strain picked up on the eve of the campaign.
Wenger intended to have his star forward back in action for Sunday’s trip to face Liverpool and, with three days to go until that big showdown, the Chilean appears to be winning his fitness battle.
“Sanchez has worked hard to be back and available again,” Wenger told reporters. “Alexis works very hard, he’s very focused and gives absolutely everything. He loves so much to play.
“He looks ready, he has not played for long time so will have to decide what I do with him. We have to make that decision. We play on Sunday and he looks in good shape.”
Asked if Sanchez has been distracted by recent talk of a big-money switch to Manchester City, Wenger added: “I don’t think he’s too much disturbed by all the noise, players at that level are used to it now.
“He is very focused, very happy and the fact he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean we cant extend it. At the moment we haven’t, we just want to focus as a team and not look too much at the contracts of everybody.”
Sanchez, the scorer of 24 goals in the Premier League last season, has not played a competitive match since Chile’s defeat to Germany in the Confederations Cup on July 2.