Alexis Sanchez retreats to Italy after Champions League thrashing at Bayern

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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.

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.

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.

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.