Alexis Sanchez was all smiles – and a few grimaces – after returning to Arsenal training on Tuesday afternoon where he was pictured being put through his paces by the club’s coaching staff.

The Chile international has been absent in the Gunners’ pre-season preparations after being given time-off following his country’s participation in the Confederations Cup.

But his presence has been felt nonetheless, with his future in north London being one of the biggest stories surrounding the club this summer.

Sanchez has continued to stall on a new contract and could leave for free next summer if that situation doesn’t change.

Alexis Sanchez joggling with the ball as he returns to Arsenal training
Alexis Sanchez joggling with the ball as he returns to Arsenal training

Paris Saint-Germain are thought to be his most likely destination, with the French club having been linked with the forward since Arsenal’s downturn in fortunes at the start of the year.

That situation wasn’t helped on Monday as Sanchez’s lawyer revealed the player’s journey back from Santiago to London would include a stopover in Paris.

However, as The Independent reported when Sanchez first joined Arsenal in 2014, the Chilean has travelled to the French capital in the past in order to renew his British work permit.

While Arsenal would not confirm that explanation on Monday, it would appear more likely than any clandestine meeting with the PSG hierarchy, particularly as the Gunners have not yet given their player permission to speak to other clubs.

Manager Arsene Wenger has maintained that he is unconcerned by Sanchez’s refusal to renew terms.

“It’s an ideal situation,” the Frenchman said last month.

“Everybody has to perform. When you’re a football player, you perform until the last day of your contract.

“What does it change when you have two years or one year left to go? When you go onto the pitch, you want to play and do well.

“Do you really think that [players] sit in the dressing room before a game and think, ‘Oh, I only have one year to go, I will not play well today’? Where does that come from?”

Source: Evan Bartlett| The Independent