By Matt Farr
Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry hopes that attacking sensation Alexis Sanchez will still be at Arsenal next season.
Sanchez, 28, faces an uncertain future at the club as negotiations over a new contract continue to stall, with just one year remaining on his current deal.
The Chile international has been the standout performer for Arsenal for the last two seasons, and has contributed a stunning 29 goals and 19 assists from 50 appearances in all competitions this term.
But Sanchez is looking to land an improved deal to match his key player status at the Emirates, and Arsenal have so far remained reluctant to meet his demands.
The Mirror reported last month that the former Barcelona star was looking for a deal worth £250,000-per-week, but had shelved contract talks due to the lack of progress made by the club in recent years.
But ex-Arsenal striker Henry insists that Sanchez is vital to the club, and urged the club to ‘build their team’ around him this summer.
When asked if he thought Sanchez would still be at the club next season, he told the Premier League Daily Show on Sky Sports on Monday:
“I hope so as an Arsenal man. He’s vital to the club. There were questions about his attitude, but like I’ve said so any times, I would have liked more players within that Arsenal squad to have that attitude.
“If you think that guy is disturbing in the dressing room, I’m sure he must have his character and his moments like every single player, but this is a guy you have to build the team around.
“I hope that he’s going to stay, but he wants to be in the Champions League, he wants to be in a club that is going to be competing at least, and it has happened since he joined Arsenal. Who knows what’s going to happen.”
His ongoing contract situation has alerted a number of Europe’s elite sides, including Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City, who are believed to be keen to offer him an escape route.
Spanish news outlet Don Balon claim he has lucrative offers to remain in the top flight from both clubs ahead of next season.
The Telegraph, meanwhile, report that French giants Paris Saint-Germain have also stepped up their interest ahead of a potential summer move.
But Arsenal fans will be even more concerned over Sanchez’s long-term future after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club are reportedly plotting an £8.6million move for this Serie A sensation.