Arsene Wenger has flatly rejected speculation that the uncertainty surrounding Alexis Sanchez's future is causing issues within the Arsenal dressing room.

The Chilean international, out of contract at the end of the season, responded to criticism of his recent ineffective performances with an impressive all-action, man-of-the-match display on Thursday night (28 December) that saw him net twice in four second-half minutes to help his side secure a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace in Wenger's record-equalling 810th outing as a Premier League manager.

The seeming reluctance on behalf of certain Arsenal players to celebrate with Sanchez after he restored Arsenal's lead at Selhurst Park led to some - including club icon Thierry Henry - to suggest that there was a "division" within the team.

"He is asking them to come. 'Why are they not coming? Don't you want to celebrate?'", Henry said on Sky Sports. "You're not here for Alexis Sanchez, you're here for Arsenal.

"Arsenal scored. Go and celebrate. Whoever does it, we don't care about that, go and celebrate with your teammate.

"Maybe we are reading too much into it but I noticed it. Sanchez made me notice it. It was like he thought he was alone."

Fellow pundit Graeme Souness concurred that such hesitation was consistent with a "divided dressing room" and said it was "clear there is a dynamic in the dressing room that all is not well", although Wenger denied there was any problems with team spirit.

"No, not at all," he said in his post-match broadcast interview. "I didn't see that [the celebration]."

Wenger also claimed in his subsequent press conference, per, that Manchester City target Sanchez did not return to his native Chile over Christmas.

Responding to reports that he he was spotted at a Paris airport over the festive period amid apparent interest from Paris Saint-Germain, he said:"That's true. We had two days off on the 24th and the 25th.

"That was public, but he did not go to Chile. He met his family somewhere, but not Chile."

Jack Wilshere made his fourth successive league start for Arsenal against Palace and impressed once again, providing an excellent long-range pass for Sanchez's second goal.

The long-serving midfielder is also out of contract in June, though Wenger insists there has been no delay with regard to contract talks as he prepares for discussions to commence early next month.

"The situation is we will sit down with him in the beginning of January, it is planned," he said. "There is no delay. I said we would sort out the situation in December, the end of December - I told him we want to meet, to sit down with him and talk about the future. That's what I did.

"But we play now, we play on Sunday, we play on Wednesday. At the moment the focus has to be on the game. At the beginning of January we will do that."

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez's situation is not causing a team spirit issue at Arsenal, according to Arsene Wenger Dan Istitene/Getty Images