Arsenal face a difficult summer ahead of them as the Gunners risk missing out on Champions League football, whilst there could also be a wealth of departures from the first-team.
Amongst the stars tipped to move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer is two-time Copa America winner Alexis Sanchez, who is rapidly approaching the final 12 months of his contract with the Gunners and seems increasingly unlikely to pen a new deal.
His situation has attracted a wealth of interest in his services and French outlet RMC Sport has stated Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have opened negotiations with the Chilean, whilst The Daily Telegraph adds Alexis would prefer a move to Stamford Bridge.
Naturally, Arsenal would prefer not to sell to a Premier League rival but Alexis’ contract situation does not put them in a strong bargaining position and any reluctance to sell could leave the door open for the 28-year-old to leave on a free transfer next summer.
Who leads the battle?
As mentioned, Chelsea are keen to bring Alexis Sanchez across London and the Chilean prefers a move to Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues’ strong rivalry with Arsenal makes a deal unlikely- and the same can be said for Manchester City.
In Europe, the likes of Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan have been linked with the Chilean’s signature, whilst there has also been a mention of interest from Sevilla, but Alexis’ likely demands for Champions League football could rule Inter out of the race.
That would leave Juventus and PSG as the big-hitters for Alexis’ signature and a move to the French capital would seem more likely, as the oil-rich club have far more weight to throw about in the transfer market than their Turin counterparts.
Is there any chance of Alexis staying?
Alexis Sanchez could still stay at Arsenal but his decision is unlikely to come down to money and will instead to built around what he believes he can achieve with a transfer. If he were to stay in North London, Arsenal would need to show significant improvements.
Finishing the season strongly would be unlikely to be enough to convince Alexis to stay and they’d have to show the Chilean they’re determined to turn things around- which could involve a major squad overhaul, replacing Arsene Wenger or going all-out in the transfer market.
Arsenal spent over £110m last summer but don’t have too much to show for it performance wise, so any persuasion on the transfer front would likely come from the calibre of players signed rather than the money spent.