‘No comparison between Sanchez & Costa’

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Arsene Wenger said both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal this season

There is “no comparison” between the situations of strikers Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal and Diego Costa at Chelsea, says Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Sanchez, 28, is in the last year of his contract at Emirates Stadium and has yet to agree a new deal, while Costa has said he wants to leave the Blues.

Wenger added 23-year-old midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, also out of contract at the end of the season and a reported target for Chelsea, will stay.

“I rate him highly,” said Wenger.

“I want him to stay here for a long time and I’m convinced he will be the English player in the next two or three years that everybody will look at.”

Wenger, 67, has previously said Sanchez “respects” his decision to keep the Chile forward at Arsenal this season, despite reported interest from Manchester City and Paris St-Germain.

Costa, 28, said he was sent a text in June by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte telling him he would not be part of the squad for this season and has yet to return from an extended summer break in his native Brazil.

The Spain forward has also described his treatment by the club as “criminal” and confirmed he wants to return to former club Atletico Madrid.

“We want Sanchez to be with us but I’m not sure whether Chelsea want Costa to be with them,” said Wenger.

The Frenchman said Arsenal have not made any more progress on a new deal for Sanchez and were prepared for him to leave on a free transfer next summer.

“We have to make a choice between efficiency on the field and financial interests and most of the time you can find a compromise,” said Wenger.

Sanchez missed the opening game of the Premier League season at the weekend, a 4-3 victory over Leicester, with an abdominal strain and is unlikely to feature against Stoke on Saturday but could return against Liverpool on 27 August.

Wenger added he was “very happy” neither Sanchez nor Oxlade-Chamberlain have submitted a transfer request, like Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool.

“It’s important you have a serene atmosphere inside and clarity about your commitment,” he said.

“It’s important the players aren’t half in and half out and they are completely in.”

Wenger added he supported proposals to close the Premier League summer transfer window before the season starts.

“It is better for the season and for our psychological comfort as managers,” he said.

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