Wenger hoping for Sanchez stay

English Premier League

The Chile international was named on the bench for this week's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, where the two London rivals played out a goalless draw ahead of the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium later this month.

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Sanchez has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City in the current transfer market but Wenger insists not starting the forward had nothing to do with the uncertainty around his Gunners future, and hopes the 29-year-old will remain in north London beyond this month.

"The team selection had nothing to do with the transfer market," Wenger said. "I don't have to justify every decision I make.

Asked if he expects Sanchez to stay at the club, Wenger said: "That's what I want. I want him to stay for longer. Because he's a very important player for us and when he came on tonight you could see that he created danger straight away.

"People don't know Alexis Sanchez well. This is a guy who is completely focused to play football. Have you seen how he came on today? Like a player who wants to play football. He can make a difference between what's going on outside and what's going on on the football pitch.

"We deal with facts, not psychological theories and the fact is when you turn out on the pitch you play football and you give 100 per cent and that's what he does.

"It doesn't matter for me whether he signs now or in June. What is important for me is the next game.

"I don't understand the way you see things. It doesn't matter how long my contract has to go. I want to win the game and I commit like I stay forever. You say the commitment of the player is linked with the length of the contract. I don't believe that at all."

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