Belfast Telegraph

New deal depends on Arsenal says 'happy' Sanchez

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Alexis Sanchez says he is "very happy" at Arsenal but insists it is up to the club to come up with a deal to keep him at the Emirates Stadium.

The 27-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract but both he and team-mate Mesut Ozil are reportedly seeking parity with the Premier League's top earners before extending their deals.

Sanchez has been linked with a £500,000 a week move to the Chinese Super League, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger unhappy with continued questioning regarding the future of his top goalscorer. Sanchez has kept quiet about the situation until now but has put the ball firmly in Arsenal's court.

"It really doesn't depend on me," he said. "I'm very happy at the club. I love all the staff. I'm very grateful for everybody here.

"I'm focused more on winning football matches - I'm staying concentrated on that."

The Chile forward went on to set out his targets with the Gunners ahead of tomorrow's trip to Manchester City.

"It depends on Arsenal," he added. "I enjoy the relationship with the fans. I want to achieve more for them. I want to win the Premier League and the Champions League."

Wenger insisted neither Sanchez nor Ozil - whose own deal also has a year and a half to run - will be affected by their ongoing contract wrangles. Newspaper reports had claimed former City boss Manuel Pellegrini is ready to make a move for his compatriot Sanchez.

Pellegrini, now in charge of Hebei China Fortune, is quoted as saying: "If Alexis wants to come, we have a club for him right now.

"He can come to join us in China immediately."

But Wenger, who was once again prickly when pushed further on contract news for the key duo, remained unmoved when asked if the situation could affect Sanchez and Ozil on the pitch.

Asked if he had concerns that lengthy contract talks could have an impact on the players, the Frenchman replied: "There is no concern, not at all.

"There is no concern, I answer you straight away."

Premier League fixtures (3pm unless stated): Today: Crystal Palace v Chelsea (12.30), Middlesbrough v Swansea City, Stoke City v Leicester City, Sunderland v Watford, West Ham United v Hull City, West Brom v Manchester United (5.30); Tomorrow: Bournemouth v Southampton (1.30), Manchester City v Arsenal (4), Tottenham v Burnley (4).

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