Arsenal's Alexis available for Anfield trip says Wenger
PUBLISHED: 09:53 24 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:53 24 August 2017
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed Alexis Sanchez is available for Sunday's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Striker Sanchez has been sidelined by illness and a slight injury since his delayed return to the club, following his Confederations Cup duty with Chile.
Sanchez missed the opening-day win over Leicester, as well as last weekend’s defeat at Stoke, with some reports suggesting rivals Manchester City were planning a £60million bid before the end of the transfer window.
But Wenger, speaking at his press conference ahead of the weekend’s action, said: “Sanchez has worked very hard to be back again and is available.
“He works very hard, very focused, gives absolutely everything. He loves so much to play it is always difficult to stop him but he looks ready.
“He has not played for a long time so I will have to decide what I do with him, but he is ready to play.
“We have to make that decision. We play on Sunday. Overall he looks in good shape, he has worked very hard.
“He has always been focused on his job. He loves to play football. I don’t think he is too much disturbed by the noises. Players at that level are used to it now, some deal better with it than others and I don’t think he is too much bothered by that.”
Sanchez, along with German international Mesut Ozil and England’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and Wenger has previously said he would be willing to lose the services of the player without receiving a transfer fee next summer.
But the Frenchman also has not ruled out keeping Sanchez, adding: “He is very focused, the fact that he goes into the last season of his contract doesn’t mean that we have no chance to extend it.
“At the moment, we haven’t managed to do it, but we just want to focus as a team and not look too much at the individual conditions of the contracts.
“What is important is what you want to achieve together.
“I want Alex to stay at the club and be one of the big players of the future of this club. He is one of the players this team has to be built around in the future.
“Personally I want him to commit to the club and be one of the carriers of the values of our team.
“I know every bid we have, of course, but I think the best if for us to focus on Sunday’s game.”
Whether involved in Arsenal’s fixture against Liverpool or not, Sanchez is expected to go away on international duty next week.
The fact the transfer window is due to close while players are with their national teams might complicate any potential last-minute dealings and Wenger added: “Chile is in important stages of their qualifiers. They are not through and he is available to travel for Chile, yes.”