Arsenal should use their upcoming signing of Alexandre Lacazette to persuade Alexis Sanchez to remain with the club for the last year of his contract, according to Nigel Winterburn.
The Gunners are reportedly on the brink of signing Lyon striker Lacazette in a huge deal that could eventually reach a club-record value of £52million.
Their pursuit of the 26-year-old comes amid fervent speculation over their star forward Sanchez, who is being chased by Manchester City with only one year remaining on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
The Chile international says he has decided what he wants to do next but is yet to reveal his wishes after his participation at the Confederations Cup.
Winterburn hopes the Lacazette move can be used to get Sanchez to stay at the Emirates Stadium, even if he does not immediately sign a new deal.
“I hope the Lacazette deal leaves [Sanchez] at the club,” Winterburn said to Sky Sports.
“He can play on the left, up front or in the hole. Arsenal cannot afford to bring in Lacazette then two weeks later Sanchez leaves.
“I am hoping Wenger can persuade him to stay for another season, see what happens with the team then sign a new contract.
“I think it was obvious to Arsenal fans and to Arsene Wenger that one of those areas to strengthen is the centre-forward position.”
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Winterburn also hopes to see Olivier Giroud stay after the striker, an international team-mate of Lacazette, stressed his desire to remain at the club despite being linked with Lyon and West Ham.
“I am hoping Giroud will stay, I still feel he is valuable to the team as well,” he said. “Arsenal know they need quality to help them challenge for the title.
“I am hoping they will back [the FA Cup win] up with a couple more major signings.
“If you look at the end of last season Wenger said he thought the team was strong enough to challenge for the title.
“Over the last two seasons that hasn’t proven to be the case and there comes a point when you have to start mixing it up.”
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