Arsene Wenger insists Alexis Sanchez was not left out of the lineup for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea due to links with Manchester City and hopes the Chile forward stays at Emirates Stadium for a long time to come.
Sanchez was named on the bench for Wednesday’s goalless first leg, featuring as a second-half substitute at Stamford Bridge.
The 29-year-old has been heavily touted for a switch to City, who failed to conclude a deadline-day swoop for the star back in August.
Wenger expressed regret over letting the issue of his own contract status at Emirates Stadium linger over last season’s campaign but he would have no issue if Sanchez does not sign a fresh deal this month and remains in the English capital.
“Look, I have no problem if he signs now or in June,” he added. “What is important for me is the next game and that you can rely on him.
“The only thing I want to say is the performance of Alexis and the commitment does not depend on the duration of his contract, it just depends on the fact that when he’s on the pitch he wants to play.”