'You cannot rule anything out' - Arsene Wenger cannot guarantee Alexis Sanchez's future amid Man City links
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out the departure of Alexis Sanchez in the final few days of the transfer window, but the Chilean is expected to play in Sunday's Premier League game at Liverpool.
Sanchez has entered the final year of his contract at Arsenal and will be able to leave on a free transfer unless the Gunners cash in on him now, with Manchester City believed to be keen to seal a deal.
Wenger has previously stated that he will not consider allowing Sanchez to leave in this transfer window despite his contract position, but that position appears to have shifted in recent days.
“You cannot rule anything out," stated Wenger. "For me, you have a sporting decision and the sport decision is easy: You keep him until the last day of his contract. I don't consider players' contractual situation to decide who plays.
“Then you have a compromise to find if you can afford to do it because you lose a lot of money and at the end of the day my decision, which is purely sporting, is easy to make. I want him to stay.
“After that there is, of course, a lot of money involved as well and the club needs to make a financial sacrifice.
“Who has the final say? I have always been followed by the board, but the final say belongs to the board.
“It's a financial sacrifice for the club and sometimes you have to calculate what you can afford and what you can't afford.
"It is difficult for me to know about other individual cases, but sometimes players have been promised things that have not been kept.
Wenger then gave an evasive answer when he was asked whether Arsenal could pass up a potential £50m transfer fee, but he is confident his star man is in the right frame of mind to start his first game of the season at Liverpool on Sunday.
“Alexis wants to play," added Wenger. "Alexis works hard and he is focused to play.
“What is good is that our mutual interest is that he does well for us. On top of that I deeply feel he loves to be here and he loves the club.
“Yes, he arrives at the age of 28, 29 and he looks at the quality of his contract, but I believe he loves to be here.
“In a professional job, I always think that you have to make sure with your commitment that the guy who pays you gets what he is paying you for.
“Alexis is in that mode and I think he will be until the last day he is here. He will give his best."