Per Mertesacker says he expects Alexis Sanchez to remain at Arsenal for another season, despite the Chile international revealing he is desperate for Champions League football.
The future of Arsenal’s talisman is currently dominating the club’s agenda.
The 28-year-old is out of contract in 12 months and has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City or Bayern Munich.
However Arsene Wenger is determined to hold the club’s top scorer during last season to his contract.
Alexis Sanchez's Premier League season Games played38Goals scored24Assists10
Sanchez is currently on an extended break following his participation in the Confederations Cup. However he took time out from his holiday to speak to local radio and explain his position.
‘I want to play the Champions League,’ Sanchez told Radio Sport Chile when quizzed at a football tournament in his hometown Tocopilla.
‘The decision does not depend on me, I have to wait for Arsenal.
‘I’ve made my decision, now I wait for Arsenal’s reply. The idea is to play and win the Champions League. I’ve dreamt about it since I was a kid.’
Sanchez will not be winning the Champions League at Arsenal next season after the club failed to qualify for Europe’s elite competition for the first time during Wenger’s tenure at the club.
Despite that, club captain Mertesacker reckons the surroundings at the Emirates allow Sanchez to thrive which is why he believes his team-mate will remain for at least one more year.
‘I am very confident [he will stay],’ Mertesacker said at an Emirates soccer school in Sydney during Arsenal’s pre-season tour.
‘It’s his decision. If he feels good, comfortable, he can play with freedom. He has his qualities. You cannot find those everywhere.’
Mertesacker, who plans to retire from playing at the end of the season, added: ‘I have not spoken to him. He needs a break now. He needs to relax. He has done a lot for us.
‘He played almost every game last season and then the Confederations Cup. You need to leave him alone to make up his mind about what he wants to do. He has one more year here and then he makes his mind up. It’s his decision.’
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Yesterday, Wenger denied rumours that Sanchez has agreed a new deal with Arsenal.
‘No, a lot that comes out [about] Alexis doesn’t look completely right! No, that’s not the case.’