Arsene Wenger has dismissed the possibility of allowing Alexis Sanchez to join Manchester City during the upcoming January transfer window ahead of Arsenal's clash against Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday (5 November).
Sanchez was close to joining City in the summer but the move fell through on transfer deadline day as Arsenal failed to secure a replacement – Thomas Lemar from Monaco. It is being reported that the Cityzens will return with a bid in January for the Gunners forward.
Talks regarding the Chilean's future have intensified due to the clash between the two sides but Wenger remains adamant that he will remain at Arsenal at least until the end of the campaign.
The French coach has also dismissed questions regarding Sanchez's motivation for the game against City owing to their strong interest in signing him. Wenger expects the former Barcelona forward to show the same commitment he has shown in previous games.
"You say everybody thinks City will come in for Alexis [in January] – I am part of everybody and I don't think he will go," Wenger said ahead of Arsenal's visit to the Etihad, as quoted by the Guardian. "Do City need him? They have to decide that. But we need him here."
"I expect him to be motivated against City but that is always the case. One thing you cannot fault in Alexis Sánchez is his motivation. When he plays for Chile, he plays with passion that is in South America. It's the same for [his previous club] Barcelona and Arsenal. He is happy when he is on the pitch and that is all he wants," the French coach explained.
"Was he close to joining City? No. But at the end of the day, close or not does not matter. It does not have any influence. What is important is that, when you are somewhere and you have the opportunity to give your best, that is what you must do."