'Why leave?' - Former Gunner Hleb urges Alexis Sanchez to stay at Arsenal

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The Chile international has long been linked with a departure from the club, but has been told to stay by the ex-Belarus attacker

Former Arsenal winger Alexander Hleb has urged Alexis Sanchez to commit his long-term future to the club and sign a contract extension.

Alexis looked set to join Premier League rivals Manchester City following a summer-long flirtation with Pep Guardiola and his team, with Arsenal having accepted a bid in the region of £60 million.

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A transfer to the Etihad failed to materialise, however, as the Gunners were unable to secure a deal for £92m Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar - the man marked to replace Alexis in north London.

City look certain to make another move for Alexis in the January window or could sign him on a free contract once his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Hleb, however, has called for the Chile international to sign a new deal at the Emirates, whilst praising his attitude since his move north collapsed.

“Arsenal found themselves in a very difficult situation with Sanchez,” Hleb told the Independent.

“On one side, if he doesn’t want to play for the team you could say it would have been better to sell him for good money.

“On the other hand, he’s such an important player for Arsenal and is a leader. I have seen him play this season and he still fights, give his best and scores goals.

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“He looked professional rather than angry that he didn’t get his move to Manchester City.

“I think he will wait until the winter, see how the team are playing and maybe sign a new contract.

“Why not stay at Arsenal? It’s a great club with huge tradition, great fans and Arsene Wenger as the manager. They can achieve things. Why leave?”

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