Arsene Wenger has told SFR Sport that Arsenal have the “firm intention” of not selling Alexis Sanchez this summer but he is “not super optimistic” of keeping him beyond this season.
Sanchez, 28, has been strongly linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City and has less than a year remaining on his contract.
Arsenal have refused to consider selling the forward, who hit 24 goals in 38 league games last term, a tally bettered only by Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku in the English top flight.
However, Wenger said: “He’s an Arsenal player in the short term. Now, will we manage to extend his contract?
“We didn’t manage to do that last season so I’m not super optimistic in that regard, but we have the firm intention of not selling him.”
Sanchez will miss Arsenal’s Premier League opener with Leicester City on Friday night due to an abdominal strain, with Wenger having said this week he is “out for a while.”
Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman