Alexis’ status is probably the biggest story of Arsenal’s summer, even a summer in which they broke their record for most expensive signing. Will he sign a new deal? Will he play out the string and walk for nothing? Will he be sold? Seemingly the only person who knows the answers right now is...Alexis.
Speaking during Arsenal’s sightsteeing cashgrab in Australia today, Arsene Wenger said
“Nobody knows today if Sánchez will be in the final year of his contract next season, because he can as well extend his contract with us at the start of the season or during the season, so it’s not necessarily the last year of his contract with Arsenal.”
So basically, Alexis hasn’t told Wenger what he is planning on doing, which isn’t terribly surprising. Also unsurprising: Wenger’s words here. One thing that has always been frustrating to me about Wenger is his consistency regarding players under contract. To him, players under contract are under that contract until the last day of said contract, and up until that time, that’s that, and he always expects that the player will honor his contract as written unless he amends or extends it.
Of course, the problem with that completely honorable stance is that no superstar player does that any more; Wenger need look no further than his own club to find several examples of a player who doesn’t stay until the end of his contract, and who doesn’t extend during the season. And as a negotiating tactic in this day and age of nearly unfettered superstar movement, “he’s under contract” has about as much weight as “but you PROMISED you’d stay” as far as leverage goes.
So, there’s really no new news here, unless you count “Wenger says what he always says” as new news. We’ve got a whole two more months of this.