Published: 01:59 EDT, 11 July 2017 | Updated: 02:50 EDT, 11 July 2017
Arsene Wenger has warned Manchester City off Alexis Sanchez and vowed that Olivier Giroud is going nowhere.
The Arsenal boss said at the end of last season that he would not let the Chilean playmaker, who is in the final year of his contract, go to a Premier League rival.
And, speaking after his squad arrived in Sydney for the first leg of their pre-season tour, he stuck to his guns and revealed that Sanchez may well sign a new deal with the club.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has denied Alexis Sanchez has asked to leave this summer
Sanchez has been linked with other clubs, including Premier League rivals Manchester City
Wenger insists he will not allow Sanchez, who has one year left on his contract, to join a rival
‘The pressure starts again at the first press conference,’ he said when asked about Sanchez. ‘We’ll see. It is a continuation of what I said at the end of the season.
‘I think the easiest way to manage (a player) in the final year – it is in his interests to do as well as he can.
‘Nobody knows today if he will be in the final year next season because he can extend the contract with us at the start or during the season so it is not necessarily the last year of his contract at Arsenal Football Club.’
Arsenal landed in Australia on Monday for the start of their pre-season tour of the country
The Gunners walk under the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge during a tour of the city
Should Sanchez stay at Arsenal, they run the risk of losing him on a free when his contract expires.
But Wenger, who denied reports in Chile that Sanchez had told him he wants to leave, was resolute in his stance.
‘The players have contracts and we expect them to respect them,’ he said, ‘that’s what we want’.
Following the £52m arrival of striker Alexandre Lacazette, doubts had been raised over the future of fellow striker Olivier Giroud, with Everton, Marseille and AC Milan ready to swoop.
But Wenger does not want to lose the 30-year-old, either.
‘We extended his contract last year,’ he said. ‘Our resolution is clear. He’s been great value to the squad and I think he is a great lover of the club. He’s always been very determined to stay.’
Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Petr Cech pose for photographs in front of the bridge
Arsenal will play Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers in pre-season friendlies this week
Wenger poses with Western Sydney boss Tony Popovic (fourth left) and Sydney FC manager Graham Arnold (fifth left)
Lacazette’s arrival may well reduce playing time for Giroud, something Wenger suggested the player may have to accept.
‘I don’t know yet,’ he said. ‘It’s always the same problem – when you have one striker ‘why don’t buy another?’ and when you have two or three ‘they will be unhappy’.
‘That’s part of the job. We are lucky to do the job but it is competitive. The players have to accept competition and my decisions as well, unfortunately.’
Wenger confirmed Lacazette will make his debut for Arsenal against Sydney FC on Thursday and will also feature against the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday, with both games to be staged at the ANZ Stadium.
Wenger is also determined to keep Olivier Giroud, despite Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival
Lacazette will make his debut for the Gunners against Sydney FC on Thursday night
‘Lacazette will make his debut here yes. On Thursday he will certainly play a part and the other game,’ Wenger confirmed.
Arsenal have made two bids for Monaco winger Thomas Lamar and Wenger suggested a third was not far away.
‘It is all speculation at the moment,’ he said. ‘There is nothing really concrete about any singings. He’s a player that we follow yes, we look at.’