Ego might keep Alexis at Arsenal, claims Ferdinand

The former Manchester United defender feels the Chilean may welcome being the 'main man' at the Emirates, having already played for Barcelona in his career

Being the ‘main man’ at Arsenal may help to keep Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium, according to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

The Chilean’s long-term future in north London has been a topic of heated discussion in recent weeks, with no extension thrashed out as yet to his current deal.

That agreement is due to run until the end of the 2017-18 campaign, but the Gunners are understandably reluctant to see a key figure enter the final 12 months of a contract.

'Alexis STILL isn't world-class'

Arsene Wenger has remained optimistic when pressed on the matter, with the French coach confident that Sanchez will commit the best years of his career to Arsenal.

Ferdinand is reluctant to speculate on what discussions may bring, but concedes that the 27-year-old’s ‘ego’ may play a part as he has already played a supporting role at Barcelona in the past and walked away from a giant of the global game.

Pressed on whether he thinks Sanchez will pen fresh terms with the Gunners, the Premier League title winner told BT Sport: “It depends what he wants.

“He’s been at Barcelona – he had that opportunity to go to a team that was winning and it didn’t happen for him.

“Here [at Arsenal] he’s the main man, the talisman. He might want that for his ego.”

Wright: Arsenal can't win the title

Sanchez once again highlighted his value to the Arsenal cause over the weekend as he netted a 14-minute hat-trick in the Gunners’ 5-1 mauling of London rivals West Ham.

He now has 11 Premier League goals for the season, while he has also contributed four assists.

Wenger’s side have moved into second spot in the top-flight standings on the back of Sanchez’s recent efforts, with only three points separating them from leaders Chelsea.