Arsene Wenger has received a timely boost in his alleged pursuit of Alexis Sanchez following reports the Barcelona winger wants to complete an Arsenal transfer, despite additional interest from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.
The Chile international has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks, and those rumours have heightened after a series of impressive performances at the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal was planning a £22 million bid to bring the Camp Nou star to Old Trafford, but the fact Manchester United are without Champions League football next season could deter the 25-year-old from going there.
Brendan Rodgers has also been mooted as an admirer of Sanchez, and is believed to be keen to lure the player to Anfield as he attempts to strengthen his squad ahead of Liverpool's return to Europe's elite club competition in 2014/15.
Suarez + Sanchez swap-deal
Barcelona's reported interest in Luis Suarez has been highlighted as a possible bargaining tool in the Reds' prospective negotiations to sign Sanchez, with talkSPORT suggesting the Catalan giants are willing to pay £50 million plus the wide-man to bring the Uruguayan striker to La Liga.
Who is Kike Marin?
Marin, who works for respected publication Voz Populi - a news outlet slightly more serious than the daily sport newspapers in Spain - claims that Sanchez "wants to go to Arsenal" and that a transfer to north London "is possible".
Wenger was rumoured to have held secret talks with Sanchez's agent in Brazil at the weekend, where he is currently out commentating for French TV station TF1. And, whatever was discussed looks to have done the trick as the player now believes his future will be best served at the Emirates Stadium.
Luis Enrique will decide the Chilean's future after the World Cup, but the Gunners now appear favourites to secure the in-demand star's signature, news that is sure to excite fans still waiting for that marquee signing to kick off the club's spending spree this summer.
With 21 goals for Barcelona in 2013/14 the South American has not been a disappointment by any means, but in a team that is centred around the brilliance of Lionel Messi, Sanchez could go on to make an even bigger impact elsewhere.
His fine form at Udinese earned the talented forward a lucrative €26 million move to Spain in 2011, but after three years at Barca he now seems ready to embark on a new challenge in another country.
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