Football

Wenger: 'My job is built on trust'

Wenger hits back at media, reiterates that Sanchez will not be sold

Arsene Wenger has reiterated his stance that Alexis Sanchez will not leave Arsenal this summer and that he will return to the club tomorrow.

The Chile international has yet to begin pre-season training with his teammates following his exertions at the Confederations Cup in Russia, where he helped the Copa America champions reach the final.

He was due to start training yesterday while his teammates took part in the Emirates Cup, but his return has been delayed as he is suffering from flu.

Speculation that Sanchez was avoiding returning to Arsenal was rife after he posted a picture on Instagram last Friday.

The 28-year-old was wrapped in a scarf and looked miserable as he captioned the picture "sick".

His Emirates Stadium future remains up in the air as he enters the final season of his contract, with talks on a new deal seemingly at an impasse.

But, Wenger, who has insisted he would rather allow Sanchez to leave for free next summer than sell him this year, confirmed the forward is ill and that he will return when he feels better.

"He has flu, yes, I had him on text yesterday," said Wenger after watching his side beat Benfica 5-2 in the Emirates Cup opener yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"He will come back as soon as possible and we were in touch with him and his doctor.

"He has no basic problem apart from the fact that he should come back tomorrow, but he comes back on Tuesday.

"Your job (as journalists) is to be suspicious.

"Your job is built on mistrust and mine is built on trust. So that's why I prefer my side.

"He's flying back as soon as he's in a position to fly back.

"He has flu and that's a question of normally four or five days."

Asked if there had been developments over Sanchez's future, he replied: "There's no development - he is staying, of course."

Sanchez is not the only player whose deal expires at the end of the season, with Mesut Oezil, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere among those reaching the end of their contracts.

Wenger himself signed a new deal at the end of last season after months of speculation, but he believes the future of his players will not affect on-pitch performances.

"It's not the same," he said.

"The players who have one year of contract have to respect their contract and play out their contract.

"For a manager, it's a bit different because it concerns more what is the future of the club.

"The players were thinking, 'What's going on and what's happening?', so it creates uncertainty because it's a global policy. I am responsible for the global policy of the club but, for the players, it is different."

Theo Walcott hit a brace with Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi also on target while Lisandro Lopez scored an own goal in the Gunners' win over Benfica.

Club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette came on for the final 15 minutes while fellow new recruit Sead Kolasinac impressed.

Lacazette and Kolasinac remain the only two new arrivals so far this summer, but Wenger said the Gunners are still looking to add more recruits, even though he would not be drawn on a move for Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar.

"We don't speak about how the negotiations go," he said when asked about the France international.

"We come out once the player is done or not done. I can't tell you that. But, at the moment, there is nothing special to say in this case.

"We are still active in the transfer market in general." - PA SPORT

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