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.

The Gunners manager said that the forward has not yet returned to full training but is targeting the top-of-the-table Premier League showdown at Emirates Stadium for his comeback.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference on Thursday morning, Wenger said: “Alexis Sanchez has a slight chance. He’s not in full training but is running.”

Sanchez returned to England last 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.

Wenger admitted that he might have to protect the Chilean for the player’s own good.

“Yes because he is always ready,” said the manager. “I believe that he wants to play. You want him to be keen to play. He respects my decisions. That’s what you want.”

Wenger’s side have coped well in Sanchez’s absence, defeating Sunderland 3-1 and Aston Villa 2-0 in the Premier League as well as clinching a memorable 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos.

Football Insider revealed last week that the Chilean was targeting the City match on 21 December for his comeback match.

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.