Alexis Sanchez set to stay after Lemar rejects Arsenal

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The Chile international could decide to leave on a free transfer next summer after his move to Manchester City fell through

Alexis Sanchez is expected to stay at Arsenal after the Gunners failed to secure the signing of Thomas Lemar on transfer deadline day, Goal understands.

The Chile star has been the subject of talks between Arsenal and Manchester City since the start of last week with a bid worth £60 million submitted by Pep Guardiola's side on Wednesday evening.

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Arsenal had accepted the offer but only agreed to sanction the deal if they could recruit another world-class forward before Thursday’s 11pm BST transfer deadline.

Goal understands that Monaco livewire Lemar was the club’s main target but a potential deal was made difficult due to the 21-year-old’s involvement in France’s World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands on Thursday night.

Liverpool had also expressed interest in Lemar and were confident of signing him after opening talks with Monaco on Monday, yet the delay in making a decision has seen a move to both clubs become impossible in this transfer window.

Wenger's struggle to add to the signings of Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac this summer is partly because of their failure to offload fringe players on high salaries.

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The Gunners can only increase the wage bill by £7m above what it was last season after the Premier League Short Term Cost Control (STCC) rules came into play from the new campaign.

They have sent the likes of Lucas Perez and Joel Campbell on loan in a bid to meet the new rules, which only allow for overspend if a club can show that it comes as a result of increased commercial or matchday revenue, or player sales.

Wenger’s side had a wage bill of £191m two seasons ago, according to the most recent club accounts available via Companies House, and wanted to agree terms with a replacement for Alexis before sanctioning his sale.

However, they will now have to face the risk of Sanchez leaving on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer after their failure to land a replacement.

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