Sanchez could defy Wenger on two counts

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ALEXIS SANCHEZ, one of the he­roes of Arse­nal’s promis­ing start to the sea­son, could be about to be­come its arch-vil­lain by de­fy­ing Arsene Wenger on two counts.

The star striker is pre­pared to risk a wor­ry­ing ham­string in­jury by play­ing for Chile in a cru­cial World Cup qual­i­fier to­mor­row.

But even more alarm­ing for the Gun­ners, he is still re­fus­ing to sign a new con­tract amid ru­mours that Pep Guardi­ola would like to spirit him away to Manch­ester City.

The Gun­ners for­ward has been in scin­til­lat­ing form this sea­son with Wenger opt­ing to play him as an out-and-out striker.

A Pre­mier League ti­tle charge is well un­der­way with the exBarcelona man up top scor­ing goals.

How­ever, Sanchez left Wenger wor­ried af­ter suf­fer­ing an­other ham­string in­jury in train­ing on in­ter­na­tional duty last week.

The Arse­nal boss has told Chile it would be “sui­ci­dal” to play Sanchez in to­mor­row’s World Cup qual­i­fier against Uruguay.

But ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mail, the Gun­ners star trained for Chile yes­ter­day, ap­pear­ing to shrug off his prob­lem.

While Arse­nal may have been handed a boost over Sanchez short­term ahead of their show­down with Manch­ester United this week­end, their long-term prospects are be­ing dealt a blow by the 27-year-old’s re­luc­tance to sign a new deal.

Sanchez missed Chile’s 0-0 draw with Colom­bia on Thurs­day and looked set to sit out to­mor­row’s match. How­ever, re­ports in Chile sug­gest Sanchez has re­sponded well to treat­ment and could yet play in the game.

Chilean news­pa­per La Tercera say the 27-year-old will not travel back to Eng­land as Arse­nal have re­quested.

And it is said that af­ter stay­ing in San­ti­ago whilst his team­mates flew to Colom­bia, Chile are hope­ful that Sanchez could fea­ture against Uruguay.

Gun­ners boss Wenger would be an­gry at such a de­ci­sion, hav­ing out­lined his con­cerns about over­play­ing the for­mer Barcelona man.

“I got a text to say that he has a ham­string in­jury,” Wenger told bein Sports.

“The team from Chile has trav­elled with­out him and they kept him to try and get him fit to play Uruguay for the sec­ond game on Tues­day night.

“I be­lieve that with a ham­string in­jury we have to get ac­cess for our med­i­cal staff to the MRI scan to see what grade it is, how bad it is and make ab­so­lutely sure they don’t make any sui­ci­dal de­ci­sion that could harm his fu­ture for two or three months.”

The club have been in con­tract talks with the at­tacker since Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to the Mir­ror. And Arse­nal are look­ing to keep Sanchez, whose deal ex­pires in 2018, at the Emi­rates for a fur­ther three years.

The winger wants a sig­nif­i­cant pay rise though, and Ex­press Sport un­der­stands be­tween £200,000 and £250,000 (RM1.1 - RM1.35m) a week is be­ing de­manded.

Guardi­ola is keen to bring his for­mer player to the Eti­had, with a £50 mil­lion (RM275m) bat­tle set to en­sue if an ex­ten­sion isn’t agreed.

City would be able to dou­ble the Chilean’s wages which would take him out of Arse­nal’s league.

The Mir­ror claim Arse­nal will be cer­tain to sell in the sum­mer in or­der to avoid los­ing Sanchez for free in 2018. – Agen­cies

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