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Sanchez staying with Chile as Pizzi considers options

Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is hopeful his team can deal with the absence of Alexis Sanchez and is adamant the forward will stay with the national team.

The Arsenal star is battling a muscle injury and will miss Chile's World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Thursday.

Pizzi, whose team sit fifth in the table, said he was considering his options to replace Sanchez – who has three goals in qualifying this campaign.

"He is very important, but we are working to find ways to replace him," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"Not having Alexis is a reality to face, but we rely on the entire group."

Pizzi said Sanchez had remained in Santiago to recover, rather than making the trip to Barranquilla.

Reports suggested Arsenal wanted Sanchez to return to the club, but Pizzi said the 27-year-old would remain with Chile.

"He is recovering and will continue with La Roja," he said.

Chile's clash against Colombia is followed by a meeting with Uruguay in Santiago on Tuesday.