Manchester City target Alexis Sanchez set to stay at Arsenal - what are the ramifications?
Alexis Sanchez is set to remain an Arsenal player after they failed to land a replacement that would have enabled the Chilean to move to Manchester City, according to The Guardian.
The Gunners had been considering a £60 million deadline-day bid for Sanchez, but the move hinged on Thomas Lemar’s proposed £92 million move to the Emirates from Monaco.
That has collapsed, however, which has prompted Arsenal to pull the plug on City’s pursuit of Sanchez.
The ‘will he, won’t he’ saga involving Sanchez has dominated the transfer window.
The former Barcelona attacker has looked disillusioned with life at the Gunners in recent times and was believed to be excited by the prospect of joining City and winning trophies. The Mirror claimed he had even told friends that he way on his way to the Etihad.
Arsenal did lift the FA Cup earlier this year, but are without Champions League football after finishing fifth in the Premier League. Their shambolic start to the current campaign has further demoralised Sanchez.
Guardiola signed the 28-year-old for Barcelona in 2011, where he scored 39 goals in 88 La Liga appearances. He was sold to Arsenal in 2014 to make way for Luis Suarez, but his performances in the Premier League highlighted his class.
Sanchez has proved to be a prolific goalscorer in England’s top-flight but arguably his greatest quality is his work-rate. Gunners’ supporters love the passion he exhibits on the football pitch, which has made him a cult hero.
With his contract due to expire next summer, Sanchez will be a free agent in less than 12 months’ time and be able to leave Arsenal for nothing. Wenger had always been reluctant to sell Sanchez to a rival following Robin van Persie’s controversial switch to Manchester United.
However, the Frenchman now faces the unenviable prospect of managing a player who wanted to leave.
What Sanchez’s mindset will be this season remains to be seen, but it cannot be good for team morale. Given the toxicity that has engulfed the Emirates following their diabolical performance against Liverpool, keeping Sanchez may do Arsenal even more harm.
For City, they will see this as a huge opportunity missed. Sanchez would have improved Guardiola’s side and fitted in seamlessly. Having played under him at Barcelona, Sanchez knows exactly what the Cityzens manager demands on the training field and the pitch.
Arsenal seemed willing to do a deal for the right price, which begs the question, ‘why did City leave it so late?’
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