Arsene Wenger has revealed he expects Alexis Sanchez to sign a new Arsenal deal this summer and claims the only reason it has yet to be finalised is down to discussions over terms of the contract.
The Chilean forward is currently on £130,000 a week and wants a salary of over £300,000 but his manager has now suggested he wants to remain at the Emirates Stadium beyond his current arrangement which expires next summer.
Wenger had said at the weekend that he will not sell Sanchez and is now confident of a long-term commitment from his star player as he again reiterated the 28-year-old will not be sold. “I personally think he will sign and stay here,” the Frenchman, who is still yet to announce whether he will himself remain at the Emirates beyond the summer, said.
“He is happy here. His desire is as well to stay. That is what I deeply believe.
“The disagreements are more purely contractual. Not on the desire. Both parties have the desire to find an agreement, so I think it will happen.
“The problem as well that you have to analyse, always, firstly, is: 'Can you find better? For what kind of money?' I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure.
“Why would you sell him to another club? We want to be as strong as we can be and not strengthen the other team. But I think he will stay here and sign a contract.”
Wenger was in notably high spirits following his side’s excellent FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City on Sunday with Arsenal taking to his new-look 3-4-2-1 system.
One player who has excelled in a new right wing back role is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who will be assessed before Wednesday's game with Leicester City thanks to a foot problem.
“He has done very well,” said Wenger. “In the future I see him being a successful central midfielder.
“But at the moment I feel this role has suited him well for first of all he can use his power and it suits him well as well as he is facing the game when he gets the ball.
“I think he is one of the players that has developed very well mentally. He’s more positive, more confident, more mature and he was sometimes a bit negative with his own performances and on that front he’s much better now.”
Wenger has challenged his side to win all their remaining seven Premier League games to make the top four and with it a coveted Champions League spot.
Arsenal are currently seventh, seven points behind fourth placed Manchester City with a game in hand and nine points adrift of Liverpool in third but with three games in hand.
“It looks like we will have to win our remaining games,” said Wenger.
“That has to be the target. I think the next thing we have to achieve is to transfer the energy level we showed on Sunday to the Premier League.
“It’s open - but what it demands from us is consistency in the results now until the end of the season. It’s still possible, but that means we’ll maybe have to have a perfect run-in. “Sunday will give us a lift for sure. But then we have to show we can keep that level of energy and that level of desire, of hunger in every single game until the end of the season.”