Arsenal hope to complete the £30 million signing of Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez by the end of next week. The Chile international favours a move to the Gunners over Liverpool, who are keen to secure the services of a top attack-minded star to replace the Barcelona-bound Luis Suarez.
This is according to Catalan newspaper Sport - and brought to our attention by the Daily Star - who claim that negotiations between Arsenal and Barcelona are now at a ‘very advanced’ stage. Sanchez has been told by Barca boss Luis Enrique that he is no longer needed at the Camp Nou and is free to leave the club this sumer, despite having just enjoyed his best season with the La Liga giants.
Sanchez happy to join Arsenal
Although Sanchez had his heart set on staying at Barcelona and fighting for his place, recent discussions with Enrique have convinced him to move on. Liverpool are still working hard to convince the South American to come to Anfield, but a move to the Emirates Stadium is believed to be more appealing to the 25-year-old.
Juventus are also in the frame to sign Sanchez, who enjoyed a successful spell with Italian side Udinese before joining Barcelona in 2011, but it’s Arsenal who are leading the race to sign him. Manchester United have considered the idea of making a late challenge for the player but appear to be pre-occupied with attempting to sign Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria.
Securing Sanchez’s signature would represent a major coup for Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger, who reportedly held talks with the player’s agent in Brazil last week.
What will Sanchez bring to Arsenal?
Is Suarez an upgrade for Barcelona?
Last season, Sanchez scored 21 goals and provided 15 assists in 54 matches for Barcelona. Alongside Lionel Messi, he was arguably the club’s best player last term.
However, the Catalan giants are prepared to offload the world-class winger if it results in the purchase of Suarez, who is banned from all forms of football until the end of October for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Suarez finished last season as the Premier League’s top scorer, with 31 goals, and is now widely regarded as one of the world’s best strikers.
But will Enrique have trouble fitting Suarez into the same starting line-up as Lionel Messi and Neymar? It seems likely that the Uruguay international will be deployed in an unfavoured wide position, in order to help get the best out of Messi.