By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Arsene Wenger has revealed that  Alexis Sanchez is in contention for Arsenal’s pivotal clash against Manchester City next Monday.

But the Gunners manager has not ruled out the possibility that the forward will be involved against Manuel Pellegrini’s team in the top-of-the-table showdown.

Football Insider revealed on Thursday that the Chilean is set to return to training next week as he targets the City match on 21 December for his comeback match.

Sanchez returned to England on Saturday night after a week’s break in Chile to recover from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the team’s last three matches.

Speaking after Arsenal’s 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, Wenger admitted Sanchez, who has scored nine goals for the club this season, faces a race against time to make the City match.

“I think the closest to have a chance is Sanchez but medically my people think he will not be ready,” Wenger said at his post-match press conference. “But Sanchez being Sanchez, you never know.

“City is a big game. We want to beat City at home. We now have eight days to recover and prepare. It will be an interesting one.”

Red alert: Alexis Sanchez faces a race against time to make the City clash

Red alert: Alexis Sanchez faces a race against time to make the City clash

The impending return of Sanchez is a huge boost to Arsenal ahead of the demanding festive programme.

The initial fears were that he could be sidelined for four to six weeks, but as revealed by Football Insider on 2 December, the injury is not a really serious one.