JOHANNESBURG: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that the transfer saga of Alexis Sanchez won’t be a distraction to the club this season.
The Chilean, who is out of contract at the end of the forthcoming season, has shown no signs of accepting a lucrative new deal from Arsenal.
Manchester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus have all been linked with the 28-year-old. However, the Arsenal boss appears determined to hold onto the 28-year-old for the last year of his deal.
Wenger, when asked if he was concerned as along with Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also in the final years of their contracts---said he expected players to stay committed and perform till the last day of their tenure.
"When you are a player you perform until the last day of the contract. Do you really think you sit in the dressing room before a game and say 'oh I've only got a year to go on my contract so I won't play well'," Sport24 quoted Wenger as saying.
"If that was true we would sign everybody for 20 years. I'm not convinced the length of the contract has any impact on the performance. I am amazed that you are surprised by that. It's an ideal situation. Everybody has to perform,” he added.
Wenger, who in the past has sold the Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie to avoid losing them for free when their contracts expired, is however sticking to his guns over Sanchez.
"In the future you will see it more and more, players going to the end of the contract. Why? Because transfers are so high even for normal players. Nobody will want to pay those fees," the 67-year-old said.
"Nobody knows if Sanchez will extend his contract here. What can I do about that? One day he will go and Arsenal will go on. Of course I think he will stay. How many times do I have to tell you?” he added.
It is expected that Manchester City will bid 50 million pound for the 28-year-old whose current deal with Arsenal is set to end in 2018.