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Wenger to let Sanchez wind down his contract

Premier League

LONDON - Arsene Wenger insists he would rather lose Alexis Sanchez for nothing than sell the Chilean to Chelsea or Manchester City.

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Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City. Photo: Reuters / John Sibley

The Arsenal boss is convinced his superstar attacker will sign a new deal with the Gunners despite the current stalemate over his future. But Wenger is adamant selling his top scorer to Arsenal’s direct rivals is not an option this summer — even it means they run the risk of losing the South American on a free transfer next year when his contract expires.

"I don’t think that we would sell him to any Premier League club," said the Frenchman.

"Why not? The question is more: why would you sell him to another Premier League club? You want to be as strong as you can be, and not strengthen the other teams."

Wenger is also confident of keeping Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the Emirates, and is prepared to double the England international’s salary with an improved deal of £100,000 per week.

The 23-year-old has just over 12 months to run on his existing £50,000-per-week contract, meaning he can leave Arsenal on a free transfer at the end of next season.

And the Gunners are desperate to keep hold of the midfielder amid interest from Liverpool and both Manchester clubs.

When he was asked about when Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future might be resolved, Wenger said: "It will be decided in the summer."

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