Alexis Sanchez was ‘seduced’ by Arsene Wenger at a private meeting while at the World Cup in Brazil, which convinced him to opt for a move to Arsenal this summer.
According to Catalan newspaper Sport, the Barcelona forward was told he was free to leave Camp Nou this summer and had a number of offers from the likes of Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan on top of Arsenal’s. However, it was in this meeting with Wenger that he was finally convinced of where his future should be.
Liverpool had reportedly been hoping they could make the Chilean a part of the deal that will take Luis Suarez to Barcelona this summer, but he did not want to move to the north west club.
The report claims that Wenger gave Sanchez the “love” he needed to be convinced after Barcelona decided he could leave, despite having a productive season in La Liga. The Gunners boss apparently assured the 25-year-old that he would fit into the Arsenal team seamlessly and his family would not have any problems in adjusting to a city like London.
Dick Law, Arsenal’s chief negotiator for transfers, then went into action and laid down the financial groundwork for agreements between Sanchez’s representatives and Barcelona over the past week. It would appear that only a medical with the player is required to finalise the deal.
History of seduction
Arsene Wenger has had previous success in convincing transfer targets to opt for the north London clubs over rivals and it appears as though personal interaction with the French tactician is a strong bargaining tool.
After his club record switch to Arsenal last summer, Mesut Özil described a phone conversation with Wenger as one of the main reasons he was convinced to leave Real Madrid for north London.
Man United thwarted
Another of the Gunners current leading stars, Aaron Ramsey, was famously on the verge of a move to rivals Manchester United, so much so that the Old Trafford club even announced an agreement with Cardiff City over the then 17-year-old’s transfer. However, Wenger moved quickly to fly Ramsey and his family out to Switzerland, where he was in a pre-season training camp with the squad, and convinced the young Welshman to choose the Gunners.
Before last season, and even during once the FA Cup was all they had left to play for, more than a few Arsenal fans questioned whether it wasn’t time for the club’s most successful ever manager to walk away after 18 years in charge. His major role in securing what look like being two of the Gunners most high-profile signings for years is an indicator of how important he still is for the success of the club.