Arsene Wenger has ruled out the possibility of Alexis Sanchez moving to Man City in January, even if the league leaders make an approach for him.
He was wanted by Pep Guardiola during the summer, and might have left towards the end of the window had the Gunners been able to secure the signing of Thomas Lemar from Monaco.
In the end, he stayed, and has struggled to really recapture his best form since, although he had an outstanding display in the last away game at Goodison Park.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash in Manchester, Wenger said, “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,” he said.
“Do City need him? They have to decide that. But we need him here.”
And the Frenchman is hoping that his star man can use the big stage to ignite his campaign.
“I expect him to be motivated against City but that is always the case,” he continued.
“One thing you cannot fault in Alexis Sanchez is his motivation. When he plays for Chile, he plays with passion that is in South America. It’s the same for Barcelona and Arsenal. He is happy when he is on the pitch and that is all he wants.
“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.”