Arsene Wenger has downplayed Alexis Sanchez’s comments that he wants Champions League football, and said that “a decision has been made” not to sell the Chile international.
Sanchez told media back home in Chile this week that he wants to play in the Champions League, which many interpreted as a desire to leave Arsenal after they missed out on the competition for the first time since 1997.
But Wenger — who has repeatedly said he will not sell the star forward even if he does not sign a new contract — was quick to dismiss the latest development in the transfer saga.
“I do not give too much importance to things that are translated. What I got, he didn’t really mean that,” Wenger said at a news conference in Shanghai, where Arsenal take on Bayern Munich in a preseason friendly on Wednesday.
“For us the main focus is the Premier League, and the Premier League for me these days is more important than the Champions League. We have rested sometimes players in the group stage of the Champions League for the Premier League so it has become most important for us.
“For the rest, we played 20 years in the Champions League, 17 years before Sanchez arrived and three years with him. So he can get us back in there.”
And Wenger said that he remains confident Sanchez will stay at the club next season for the last year of his current contract.
“I can only reiterate what I said before,” he said. “A decision has been made, and we will stick with that.”