Wenger refusing to give up on Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger insists Alexis Sanchez has not told him he wants to leave Arsenal.

Speculation has mounted over the future of the Chile forward this summer, with Sanchez’s contract at the Emirates expiring at the end of the upcoming season.

However, Wenger believes the 28-year-old — who last month said he knew where he would be playing next season but stopped short of announcing his plans — could still extend his stay in north London.

“The players come back and we expect them to respect their contracts,” Wenger said.

Asked whether Sanchez had told him he wanted to leave, the Frenchman added: “No.

“Nobody knows today if Sanchez will be in the final year of his contract next season, because he can as well extend his contract with us at the start of the season or during the season, so it’s not necessarily the last year of his contract with Arsenal.”

Manchester City are reported to be among the former Barcelona star’s admirers, but Wenger reiterated that he would not be prepared to sell to a rival Premier League club.

“That’s in the continuity of what I said at the end of the season; that’s what we will do,” he added.

Speaking in Sydney, where Arsenal are on tour, Wenger also admitted his interest in Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, but admits there will be plenty of competition for the 18-year-old’s services.

“He’s a player who, when he gets up in the morning, can chose where he wants to go,” added Wenger.

“There are not many players with that kind of luck because he’s 18 years of age and all of Europe has a red carpet open for him. Nobody can say he is not interested in a player of that calibre, all the clubs are interested in him.”

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have signed James Rodriguez from Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal.

Bayern, managed by former Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, will have the option to buy the Colombia international in 2019.

Ancelotti worked with Rodriguez during what was probably his most productive season at the Bernabeu — his debut campaign in 2014-15 — and he will hope to get the best out of the 25-year-old once more.

Rodriguez had fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu to such an extent that he was left out of their squad for the Champions League final in June.

Chelsea and Manchester United had been linked with a move for Rodriguez this summer but it had been reported that Real were asking for around £70m (€78.4m) for the player.

Rodriguez is set to link up with the Bayern squad immediately and travel with his new team-mates on the club’s tour of China and Singapore.

Paul Clement has insisted Gylfi Sigurdsson will only leave Swansea if the club’s sizeable valuation is met.

Swansea are understood to have put a £50m (€56m) price tag on Sigurdsson amid strong interest from Everton and Leicester.

Sigurdsson is set to join Swansea’s pre-season tour to the United States when the squad departs on Thursday, and head coach Clement says he is planning for the Icelandic playmaker to be at the club when their Premier League season kicks off on August 12.

“He is training hard and straightaway he is at the top of all the statistics physically,” Clement said. “I am planning for him to be here, but there is clearly some very strong interest in him. We will have to see what happens.”

Former Tottenham player Sigurdsson was Swansea’s talisman as they escaped relegation from the Premier League last season.

The 27-year-old scored nine league goals and had 13 assists and was named the club’s player of the year for the second successive campaign.

Only two other players, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, brought more goals and assists to their teams.

“Gylfi has been an excellent player here,” Clement said.

“He has three years on his contract and if any business is going to be done, it will be done on the terms we want.

“The club recognised his contribution by giving him an extended contract last season. He was happy to stay on here.

“At the moment he is a Swansea player and we have to carry on looking at it that way.”

Burnley have announced the signing of midfielder Jack Cork on a four-year-deal from Swansea.

The 28-year-old is no stranger to Turf Moor having made 57 appearances for the club during a loan spell from Chelsea between January 2010 and May 2011. Cork has signed for an undisclosed fee and has flown out to join up with the Clarets squad in Ireland.

Watford midfielder Mario Suarez has joined Chinese side Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng FC, the Premier League club have announced.

The 30-year-old Spaniard moved to Vicarage Road from Fiorentina in January 2016 but made just 17 appearances for the Hornets.

Suarez spent the whole of last season on loan at Valencia, where he played 24 times for the La Liga side.

Suarez, who has three caps for Spain, will become a team-mate of former Everton, Hull and West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic at Zhicheng.



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