Football

Wenger: Sanchez wants to stay

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes striker Alexis Sanchez wants to stay at the club as he once again refused to be drawn on his own future.

The Chilean's contract expires at the end of next season and it has been reported that Sanchez will stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond that only if the club match his ambition.

When asked if the 28-year-old's decision could also come down to money, Wenger said: "Basically he wants to stay at the club and it's down to finding an agreement with his agent.

"The players first have to see if they are happy with the club and after (that) most of the time, it's down to finding an agreement, but the finances are involved in it, yes."

Ahead of Arsenal's away clash with Crystal Palace on Tuesday morning (Singapore time), Wenger played it cool as he straight-batted questions designed to catch him out as speculation continues to rage over his Gunners future.

The 67-year-old is still yet to announce whether he will remain beyond the end of this campaign.

Fan protests calling for Wenger to go had gathered pace in recent weeks, but a 3-0 win against West Ham on Wednesday ended with supporters staying behind to chant his name.

When asked whether an announcement would come from himself or the club, Wenger simply said: "From the club."

Another question followed asking if there were any pre-requisites in any potential new deal to which he replied: "No, nothing to add to that."

Arsenal's pre-season plans were brought up with the aim of catching Wenger out but the question was again met with a straightforward response: "Of course (plans are in place for pre-season). No (that does not suggest he will stay), it's just that I do my job to plan for the future of the club."

"I cannot not tell you now (if a decision will come before the end of the season) because I don't know, I am focused on our next game."

Third-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez will again deputise for Arsenal against Palace, after he stepped in for the win over West Ham with both Petr Cech (calf) and David Ospina (back) sidelined.

Laurent Koscielny (Achilles injury) remains absent as does Lucas Perez (thigh). - PA SPORT

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