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Alexis Sanchez.

Arsene Wenger has a plan if Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal in January

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Alexis Sanchez's seemingly imminent departure to one of Manchester United, Manchester City or Liverpool has divided opinion amongst Arsenal fans.

While some are gutted about selling the world-class Chilean to a Premier League rival, others claim they'll be happy to see the back of him.

Sanchez has become a disruptive figure at Arsenal over the past year and his petulant attitude seems to have split the dressing room.

But the fact remains he will need replacing and it's up to Arsene Wenger to bring in a worthy successor.

Among those to have been linked with Arsenal in recent days are Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez, Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Bordeux's Malcom.

Mahrez or Malcom seem the most likely to arrive, with Monaco demanding £90 million for Lemar, who also favours a move to Liverpool.

Arsenal fans will just be hoping Wenger has a plan of action if Sanchez leaves and according to Guillem Balague, he has - and then some.

Speaking on Sky Sports' Transfer Talk podcast on Sunday, Balague explained how Arsenal already have a "big-name" replacement lined up for Sanchez.

And that's not even the best part. Apparently Arsenal wouldn't even need to negotiate for the player, suggesting a pre-agreement has been reached.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-WEST BROM

"If Alexis goes now they are prepared," said Balague. "They've got a name, they've got a player that will replace him.

"They don't have to negotiate anything with him - it's just a matter of seeing if Alexis leaves now or at the end of the season.

"They are prepared for the departure and they say he's a big name and it's not just a kid coming through. We'll see what happens with that.

"At the moment, in terms of facts, Manchester United have not spoken to Arsenal. They have spoken to Alexis and the wages are higher than what City are offering Alexis."

Just what Arsenal fans needed after finding out Sanchez hasn't been included in the squad to face Bournemouth.

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Losing the 29-year-old to City or United will be a tough pill to swallow, but if Wenger reinvests in a quality replacement, that will go some way towards softening the blow.

Better still would be if Arsenal can tie down Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere to new contracts, as Wenger explained on Saturday.

"Yes, there is still an opportunity for him (Ozil) to stay," said the Frenchman. "These guys want to win and they want to make money as well.

"They want a combination of the two that big clubs can give them. We want to keep Jack and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger
Premier League
Alexis Sanchez
Football
Mesut Özil

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