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Wenger has backing of Arsenal board to keep Sanchez

Arsene Wenger said he has the full support of the Arsenal board over his stance not to sell Alexis Sanchez this season.

Sanchez is out of contract at the end of the 2017-18 campaign and the Chile international has been heavily linked with Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Arsenal, however, are prepared to risk losing him on a free transfer as his contract runs down.

When asked if he had the backing of the club ahead of Sunday's Community Shield against Chelsea, Wenger said: "Yes, the board supports me to make the decisions on a technical front.

"I can tell you is that he is focused, and my decision is clear: he will stay and he will respect that. It is as simple as that.

"Every negotiation has to be a little bit secret. The transparency of society is very pushy but we have to resist a little bit, as much as we can. I think he will be here this season, and if we can do it for more seasons we will do it as well."

Meanwhile, Wenger admitted Jack Wilshere could be allowed to leave Arsenal.

Wilshere – who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth – is also out of contract in 2018 and the 25-year-old midfielder is attracting interest from Sampdoria and West Ham.

"That decision is not completely made," said Wenger. "I want him to have a chance to play somewhere as well. We have to decide that a bit later. I wanted first him to come back, he is coming out of a fracture.

"It is the first week he is back in full training and we have to sit down together and see where we go from there."