Former Gunner, Charlie Nicholas, wants Arsenal to sign Thomas Lemar as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez this summer.

Nicholas reckons that despite Arsene Wenger insisting otherwise, Alexis will be leaving Arsenal this summer and has urged the Gunners to sign Monaco winger, Thomas Lemar, in his place.

The pundit doesn’t want his former club to be held for ransom by the Chilean and thinks that Wenger should just allow Alexis to leave if he’s unhappy, and use the money to sign Lemar, which will put Arsenal in a far better position.

“I still anticipate Alexis Sanchez leaving this summer. Of course, I’d like to see him stay long-term but I would rather see it sorted,” Nicholas told Sky Sports [via Daily Star].

“I know it happens all the time but clubs should not be held to ransom by footballers.

“The last time this happened Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United and helped them win the league, but the club are in a better position now.

“If you can sell your best ever player in Thierry Henry, and your second greatest in Patrick Vieira, then I’d rather you sold a player playing silly games over his future.

“Sanchez has asked Arsenal for similar wages to Cristiano Ronaldo but he is not in the same world.

“It’s not about what you lose, it’s about how you replace it.

“They could sell £100m worth of players, sign Thomas Lemar and finally get a top-class centre-back and be in a stronger position.”

Alexis still has one year left on his deal and while Wenger insists he’s staying, if the forward really does want to leave, the situation could begin to become toxic if he’s forced to stay. While he should be honouring his contract and he’s supposed to be a professional, he’s also still human.

However, on the other hand, where would he go? It’s one thing allowing your best player to leave because they’re stinking up the place with their attitude but Arsenal can’t possibly sell him to Manchester City.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on August 1, 2017 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Paris Saint-Germain have now signed Neymar for a world record £198m, so that most likely knocks them out of he running as well.

Perhaps Alexis’ best move right now is to stay put and see how the Gunners do next season.

Not that that he has much of a choice, if Wenger’s stern words ahead of the Community Shield are anything to go by.

“The only thing I can tell you is he is focused,” said Wenger.

“My decision is clear – he will stay and he will respect that.”

The boss seems dead-set on sticking to his word this time, which, as an Arsenal fan, I have absolutely no problem with.