Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not expecting Manchester City to table a bid for Alexis Sanchez during the January transfer window and is only focusing on the first leg of his side's Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Wednesday (8 January) as rumours over the Chilean's future cast an unwanted shadow.
Sanchez has long been linked with a move to The Etihad Stadium and would have indeed joined Pep Guardiola's side in the summer transfer window if the Gunners had managed to line up a suitable replacement. The former Udinese and River Plate star has endured a rather quiet campaign so far, but City's interest in him remains.
Arsenal are resigned to losing Sanchez, who is in the final knockings of his contract in north London, but it remains to be seen if Wenger decides to keep the talismanic figure until the end of the season and let him depart on a free transfer. Arsenal are reportedly willing to part with Sanchez this month if they receive a fee of £35m ($47.3m), according to The Independent, but City are trying to pilfer him for a lesser fee.
Sanchez is said to have designs on a reunion with City boss Guardiola, who already has an abundance of attacking quality at his disposal, but speaking in his press conference ahead of the League Cup clash with Chelsea, Wenger confirmed that no bid from the Premier League leaders has been received, nor does he expect to have to deal with one.
"No. I expect nothing," Wenger said, per the Mirror. "I am focused on tomorrow's game. When solicitations happen you respond to it. At the moment it's very quiet.
"I have nothing to add. What is the most important thing is to be professional and to perform no matter what the environment is."
The hum-drum over Sanchez's future has reportedly led him to becoming a increasingly polarising figure within the Arsenal dressing room. The versatile forward has needed no invitation to vent his frustration at his teammates on the pitch, but Wenger does not see the Chilean's approach or future situation as an issue to the rest of his squad and may well afford him a start against Chelsea on Wednesday, despite using the Carabao Cup as a way of giving his fringe players and youngsters some much-needed game-time so far.
"It's not a big influence on the performance of our team," Wenger said. "I have not decided yet [whether he will play]. I will decide today or tomorrow morning."