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Wenger concedes Alexis Sanchez set to leave Arsenal for free in 2018

5:19 AM EDT 8/16/17
alexis sanchez - cropped
There has been "no progress" in attempts to tie the attacker down to a new deal, although the Frenchman is not ready to freeze out one of his stars

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that it is a distinct possibility that Alexis Sanchez will leave the club for free next summer.

The Gunners boss says there has been no progress made in reaching a renewal for the 28-year-old attacker, whose deal is up next June, though that will not stop Wenger playing the Chilean.

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Alexis has been linked with PSG and Manchester City still consider him a top target, and Wenger has now accepted that his star man is all set to leave for nothing.

“We’ve not made any progress on that front," he admitted when asked about a new contract for Alexis. “Him leaving for free is a consequence of what I say – unfortunately.

“We have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interest. Most of time if you can find a good compromise it is better, but in this case I think I will prioritise the sporting side."

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Wenger denied similarities with Diego Costa’s situation at Chelsea, where the player is attempting to force a move to Atletico Madrid.

 “I don't think there is any comparison at all because we want him [Sanchez] to be with us and Chelsea does not necessarily want that,” he said.

Alexis has not featured this season due to a strained abdominal muscle and he will not be ready to play against Stoke at the weekend, although the manager is confident he will return soon.

“For Sanchez, it looks a bit early but he works hard in training. Our medical people think Saturday comes too soon,” Wenger said.

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“He should be available next game against Liverpool. His recovery going very well, he is working very hard. We have got to be cautious with a muscular strain not to have any setback on it.”