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Former Arsenal player Alan Smith claims it would be a huge gamble for Arsene Wenger to keep Alexis Sanchez at the club.

The Chilean's future at the club has been uncertain all summer with less than a year remaining in his current Gunners deal, however, Wenger has remained adamant that he will remain at the Emirates Stadium.

Manchester City have been linked with Sanchez throughout the summer and are believed to be preparing an improved offer on deadline day after a recent £50m bid was rejected by the Gunners.

The north London club are said to want an offer in the region of £70m if they are to part with the former Barcelona player, and will target Paris Saint-Germain's Julian Draxler as a like-for-like replacement.

However, with Wenger standing firm on his stance that Sanchez will stay so far, there is a likelihood of the forward remaining at Arsenal and potentially leaving the club on a free transfer next summer.

Smith claims keeping the 28-year-old, whose future at the club remains highly uncertain, could be disastrous amid concerns that he might not give his all with his mind focused on a move elsewhere.

"That's going to be a huge gamble on Arsene Wenger's part," Smith told Sky Sports News. "To keep a player that they could get £50m or more right now, a player that might not be at it properly for the next ten months."

"Can you imagine how much of a disaster that would be for the dressing room, for Wenger and for the board?

"If he's [Wenger] not in for Mahrez... who else would he be going for? Sanchez perhaps will be stopping."

Sanchez made his first appearance of the season in Arsenal's crushing 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday (27 August) and was visibly displeased at his side's performance.

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez remains an Arsenal player - but for how long? Getty