Alexis Sanchez retreats to Italy after Champions League thrashing at Bayern

The Gunners collapsed in Wednesday’s 5-1 demolition against the German champions, prompting the Chile international to take a break in Italy

While his Arsenal team-mates carried the disappointment and humiliation of their 5-1 trouncing at Bayern Munich back to London together, Alexis Sanchez slipped away to get away from the torment.

Forget Alexis & Ozil contracts – Arsenal must purge Wenger & ‘yes men’

The Chile international’s future at the Emirates Stadium is in doubt as his contract expires next season, as does Mesut Ozil’s, and there has been no clarification on the likelihood of him remaining there.

Speculation that he could be heading for the exit was always likely to increase in the wake of the Gunners’ loss to Carlo Ancelotti’s side in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first-leg in Munich.

Utter humiliation. Alexis says it all in this pic…

— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) February 15, 2017

Although Alexis saw a penalty kick saved from Manuel Neuer in to pull his side level with the hosts after Arjen Robben’s opening goal, they crumbled soon after Laurent Koscielny went off with an injury early in the second half as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller struck either side of a Thiago Alcantara double.

Arsene Wenger was at a loss to explain the defeat and others were left infuriated, but Alexis’ method of dealing with it has been to head to Italy for a short break.

The 28-year-old has been given permission by the club to go away for a while, with Venice the expected destination as he reunites with his Italian best friend.

Nothing unusual about Sanchez having a short break but it will only increase speculation over his future. Contract talks continue.

— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) February 16, 2017

There is nothing extreme about the development – Arsenal are no strangers to giving players time off as they recently allowed Ozil to travel to Sweden to meet a woman.

Sanchez’s brief trip to Italy does nothing to enhance suggestions that he is set for a transfer away from Arsenal, but it will likely upset fans still in shock at the extent of their European collapse.