Arsenal look set to complete the £32 million signing of Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez after it was revealed that the Chile international is flying to London to finalise his transfer to the Emirates Stadium. The 25-year-old has reportedly rejected moves to Juventus and AC Milan, while Liverpool are also believed to be out of the running.
This is according to the Metro, who cite the Italian press as claiming Sanchez turned down late offers from the Serie A giants in order to complete his move to Arsenal.
Sanchez wanted to stay at Barcelona
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger appears to have successfully convinced Sanchez to sign for the Gunners, although the player was believed to be keen to stay at the Camp Nou and fight for his place.
However, Barcelona need the funds generated by his sale in order to finance a huge deal for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who looks set to complete his move to the Catalan giants in the forthcoming days. The Uruguay international, who is banned from all forms of football until the end of October for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, will take Sanchez’s number nine shirt.
Manchester United pre-occupied with Di Maria
Manchester United were in the running to sign Sanchez, until it emerged that Real Madrid were open to the idea of selling Argentina international Angel di Maria in order to secure the services of AS Monaco star James Rodriguez.
The Red Devils reportedly have a ‘strong chance’ of signing the world-class winger this summer, but will need to smash their transfer record - and possibly the British transfer record, too - in order to sign the 26-year-old.
Alexis Sanchez: Top 10 Barcelona goals
Sanchez to replace Walcott?
The imminent arrival of Sanchez means Theo Walcott could be reduced to a peripheral role at the Emirates Stadium from the start of next season. The Chilean spent the majority of his time at the Camp Nou playing wide-right - the same position Walcott has occupied for the past few years with the Gunners.
Both stars are capable of playing in a more central role, though, and Wenger may decide against signing a top-class striker - such as Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema - to ease the pressure on Olivier Giroud. Queens Park Rangers’ forward Loic Remy, however, remains a potential summer arrival.
Arsenal: 2014/15 Premier League title favourites?
Arsenal ended their nine-year wait for a trophy by winning the FA Cup in May - and, by securing the services of Sanchez, the Gunners could head into the 2014/15 campaign as favourites to win their first Premier League title since 2004.
Wenger remains keen to add one of two more quality players to his ranks ahead of the start of the new campaign - and still has most of his £100 million transfer budget to spend, despite splashing out £32 million on Sanchez.