Arsene Wenger: Refusing to sell Alexis Sanchez shows Arsenal are prioritising sporting success over financial concerns

 
Joe Hall
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Chelsea v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Sanchez could leave Arsenal for nothing at the end of the season (Source: Getty)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is prioritising sporting success over the club's finances this season by refusing to sell Alexis Sanchez.

The Gunners boss said the club had not made any progress in persuading the 28-year-old to extend a contract that expires at the end of the campaign, but would not renege on their commitment to keep him as they aim to return to the Champions League.

Although Sanchez could attract large bids from interested clubs including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, Arsenal are banking on the long-term benefit of a strong Premier League performance outweighing the short-term pain of losing the forward for nothing.

Read more: Wenger - It would be suicide to reveal Alexis Sanchez talks

"We have to make a choice of efficiency on the field and financial interest," said Wenger. "Most of the time if you can find a good consequence it's better, but in this case I prioritise the fact he will be useful on the sporting side."

On whether negotiations with Sanchez had proved fruitful, Wenger added: "At the moment no, we have not progressed on that front. He goes into the final year of his contract and prepares for the season."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be staying, according to Wenger, despite reported interest in the Englishman from Premier League champions Chelsea.

"Yes [he will stay], because I rate him highly," said Wenger.

"He is a player who is on his way up. In the last year he has made huge progress, I want him to stay here for a long time.

"I'm convinced he will be maybe the English player in the next two or three years everyone will look at."

Wenger also voiced his support of proposals to shut the Premier League transfer window before the season starts as it would provide "psychological comfort" to him and his squad.

Representatives from the league's 20 clubs will vote on whether to shorten the window at a meeting next month.

"For the regularity of the season it's better because you can have a player who can play three times against you if the window is not closed before the start of the window," said Wenger.

"And for the psychological comfort of the manager and the focus.

"It's difficult to start the season with a team and have some players who are not completely on board."

Read more: Brighton CEO Paul Barber: Shortened transfer window would benefit managers

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