Arsenal round-up: Sanchez latest; Ozil to return; French teenager linked
Arsenal are still facing a battle to keep Alexis Sanchez away from a league rival in January. The Evening Standard report that Manchester City remain favourites to sign the Chilean, but they will face competition from Manchester United. He came close to signing for Pep Guardiola’s side on deadline day until the move collapsed. The 28-year-old will be free to discuss terms with foreign teams in January. Juventus and Bayern Munich are both expected to make contact. City will try to convince the Gunners to cut their losses with a bid of around £25 million.
This saga is far from over the dynamics will be changed in January. Sanchez can discuss terms with foreign clubs and that complicates matters for Manchester City, as those clubs won’t have to pay a transfer fee. This will allow them to make more attractive offers to the player. His own preference is to remain in England, but it is difficult to predict where he will end up.
Mesut Ozil has revealed that he is back in full training following a knee injury. The German won’t be involved in the Carabao Cup this evening against Doncaster Rovers, but he has confirmed on Instagram that he will be back playing very soon.
This is a positive update regarding the German international as he is one of the team’s most talented players. He is much maligned in the media for his perceived lack of effort on the pitch, but he is capable of making things happen and very effective against the smaller clubs in the league. Arsenal delivered a great team performance against Chelsea and Arsene Wenger needs to learn how to get a similar output from Ozil. If he can, the midfielder could be set for the best season of his career.
The Gunners are planning a move for Marseille defensive prospect Christopher Rocchia. FootMercato report that Gilles Grimandi, the club’s chief French scout, has already contacted the player’s entourage after being impressed by the teenager’s displays. Borussia Dortmund are another club that are tracking the teenager. His contract will be up in the summer, but Marseille have offered him a new deal until 2020.
This is a very typical Arsenal transfer and suggests that the recruitment strategy isn’t going to change, despite their regression on the pitch. Rocchia is an exciting player, but he isn’t likely to contribute in the first team immediately. This would be a deal that had one eye on the future, rather than one for now.