Arsene Wenger has admitted that Arsenal's board will have the final say on the future of Alexis Sanchez - but insisted that they remain firmly behind his stance to keep hold of the Chilean at the risk of losing him on a free transfer in a year's time.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Wenger said that the potential financial loss matters less to him than the board - and claimed that he remains hopeful that Mesut Ozil will sign a new contract at the Emirates.
Asked whether the decision to keep hold of Sanchez was his to make, he admitted: "It’s my decision, but after the board has to of course agree with me. And if they don’t agree we have to consider it as well, and I will accept it. But the board is behind me on that."
He continued: "I am a football manager, I want Alexis to stay, and that’s it. After that, all the financial implications, for me, are less important. But at the end of the day you have to afford it as well, you must afford it. I want him to stay, I want him to extend his contract. But as well you have to be able to afford to pay him."
Wenger on this man:— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 16, 2017
️ "Look at his numbers... the weight he has in the dressing room... he’s respected by everybody inside the club" pic.twitter.com/7xK37fBJRF
Ozil's contract runs out next summer, leaving him in the same situation as Sanchez, but Wenger insisted:
"Their needs are their desire for success and their needs are as well financial. I think if we can meet their needs on the pitch, there is more chance to extend their contracts."