Alexis Sanchez’s protracted contract saga rages on at Arsenal and looks to remain unresolved until the Summer. Arsene Wenger told Bein Sports that contract talks are on hold, despite the player having only 15 months remaining on his current deal.
The Chilean has reportedly demanded a wage increase from £130,000 to £250,000, a non-negotiable term if he is to even consider staying at the club, according to the Guardian. The same article states that Chelsea’s Antonio Conte has made the winger his main transfer target of the summer, which may be in reaction the possibility of losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Arsenal may become resigned to losing their best player, as they cannot risk letting him go for free in summer 2018, regardless of Wenger’s claims to the contrary, but they will still be reluctant of selling to their London rivals, who are currently third favourites to get their man. There are a number of top European clubs interested in acquiring the 28-year-old’s services.
According to Sky Bet, Paris Saint-Germain are favourites to sign the winger, with the bookmaker currently offering odds of 3/1 of him making a permanent move to the French capital this summer. The Parisians suffered an embarrassing exit from the Champions League earlier this month and are at risk of losing their stranglehold on Ligue 1 to super-rich rivals Monaco, to whom they trail by three points.
Since the departure of goalscoring extraordinaire Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Unai Emery’s side has been dependent on Edinson Cavani with almost no back-up available. Around €25 million was paid to Real Madrid for Jese Rodriguez last summer, but January saw him loaned out to Las Palmas and recent performances have provided little evidence that he can lead the line for a top European club.
As one of the richest clubs on the continent, PSG would have no problem reaching Sanchez’s high wage demands. They are certainly in need of extra attackers in their continued search for European success, the Chilean may just be the most available top-class player who fits the bill.
Second favourites to bring in Sanchez, with only narrowly shorter odds, are Juventus. The Old Lady have cemented themselves as one of the top clubs in Europe, routinely dominating Serie A while challenging for the Champions League.
Juve’s on-field success is a stark contrast to the shortcomings of Arsenal, which has ultimately led to the discontent shown by their best players. For any professional with a desire to win titles, Italy’s most supported club are a sure bet. They are on course for a 6th successive Scudetto and were Champions League runner’s up in 2015.
In terms of personnel, weaknesses in the Juventus side are hard to come by. They are, however, like PSG, over-reliant on a single player, and their midfield provides few goals. The versatility of Sanchez could improve both of these shortcomings.
After 3rd favourites Chelsea, whose 7/1 price suggests they are less than half as likely to attain the Chilean’s signature as the Italians, odds drift wider to 12/1 (Manchester City) and 14/1 (Barcelona and Bayern Munich).
It is no surprise that a reunion with Pep Guardiola is considered less likely than joining champions-elect, Chelsea, considering the Spaniard’s comments on the issue in a December press conference. The 12/1 offered is, however, favourable to the 14/1 on a Barcelona move, with the Chilean surely unlikely to return to the Catalan side and struggle once more to break into the starting XI.
As it stands it seems likely that Sanchez will leave Arsenal in the summer, regardless of Wenger’s decision on his own future. Realistically the club will not miss out on a large transfer fee to keep someone who wishes to leave the club.
It will be an intriguing battle throughout the transfer window between the interested parties, one that will only intensify if Madrid do come in for Eden Hazard. In that scenario, expect Chelsea to go all out in their pursuit of the Chilean.
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