Manchester City propose Sterling/Sanchez swap deal to Arsenal - who benefits most?
The Alexis Sanchez transfer saga is going to rumble on until the final hours of the window. The latest development comes from the Mirror, who report Manchester City have made a player-plus-cash offer for the Chilean. They have offered to include Raheem Sterling in the deal to try and convince the Gunners to sell their prized asset. There has been direct contact between the two clubs in recent days and talks are going on behind the scenes.
Later in the article, it is stated that Arsenal would only be tempted by £70 million, but that is not likely to be offered to them in straight cash. The Gunners clearly need reinforcements, especially if they let Sanchez leave the club.
It now looks difficult for them to source suitable replacements; therefore, a player-plus-cash deal could appeal to them. Sterling has had a great start to the season and would improve the squad at the Emirates Stadium.
Who would benefit most from this deal?
Manchester City are desperate to land Alexis Sanchez and have made him a priority target since the beginning of the window. It was always going to be a tough deal to pull off, which is why they have left it late. Pep Guardiola is looking to move to a 3-5-2 formation and he needs to have two hard-working forwards to make the system work.
Sanchez would be a great fit for the formation, as he has high defensive work rate and is effective at pressing high up the pitch. Guardiola has worked with him previously and knows that the Chilean can cope with the demands of the role, whereas Sergio Aguero has struggled during the opening weeks of the season. Raheem Sterling has started the season well, but he doesn’t have the tactical flexibility that his manager wants. There are a number of good attackers at the club and the Englishman is down the pecking order, despite his recent form.
There is rarely a benefit of keeping a player that doesn’t want to be at the club, especially if they are in the final year of their contract. Sanchez has big value in this summer’s market and it would be damaging to lose him on a free next summer. Arsenal should cut their losses and it would be a great deal for the club if they could get a player as good as Sterling in part-exchange. This proposed deal seems a good compromise for both clubs.
How likely is the player-plus-cash deal?
It is a good story for the media, but it is unlikely that this transfer happens. Although Alexis Sanchez could possibly move to Manchester City, it would be a surprise if Sterling agreed to join Arsenal. The North London club are a mess and only going one direction under Arsene Wenger.
As one of the best English players, it would be damaging for his career if he was to join the Gunners. Currently, he is getting minutes at City and there is no reason to leave. There is a chance that he would feel unwanted by his current club and agree reluctantly to the move, but that would be a surprise.