Sanchez to miss start of season for Arsenal

Arsenal plays Leicester at home on Friday in the opening game of the league season.

9 August 2017 | 13:49

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 9 August 2017 | 13:49

This file photo taken on May 16, 2017 shows Arsenal's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez takes a shot at goal which is disallowed during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London. (AFP Photo)

LONDON: Alexis Sanchez will miss at least the first two games of the Premier League season for Arsenal, with coach Arsene Wenger saying the absence is due to injury rather than doubts surrounding the forward's future at the club.

Wenger said Wednesday that Sanchez sustained an abdominal strain on Sunday — hours before Arsenal's win over Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium — and will be out for "two weeks or one more week."

Arsenal plays Leicester at home on Friday in the opening game of the league season.

With Arsenal failing to qualify for this season's Champions League, Sanchez has been heavily linked with a move away from The Emirates Stadium although Wenger has repeatedly said this offseason that the Chile international is not for sale. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly interested in the player, who has just one year left on his contract at Arsenal.

Wenger wouldn't say if any bids had come in for Sanchez.

"I can't tell you that at the moment," he said. "I just think we are not open — what I said to you many times — to any offers, anyway."

Sanchez's last game was the Confederations Cup final for Chile on July 2 and he was given an extended summer break. His initial return to training was delayed by three days, with Arsenal citing an illness, and now he is injured.

Wenger said Sanchez would not have started against Leicester even if he wasn't injured.

"We have all the other players prepared in pre-season and they are all ready," said Wenger.

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