Arsenal are desperate to keep Alexis Sanchez, and then some.
You can’t exactly blame the Gunners and that’s especially the case when you consider one of their largest rivals – Manchester City – are the frontrunners for his signature.
It’s certainly a convoluted situation and one that has swamped the backpages for a number of weeks. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Arsenal are stubbornly adverse to his sale.
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The saga poses an interesting dilemma for the club. Either they procure a transfer fee in the region of £50 million now or exploit his services for one final season and lose him as a Bosman’s free agent, next season.
The former should and would, in most cases, prove the obvious decision but the north London club is bucking the trend. As per the Guardian, long-term economic factors are driving the club’s reluctance to sell this summer.
Arsenal believe the damage of an immediate Sanchez exit simply cannot be soothed by £50 million from Guardiola and co. The small matter of 30 goals and 13 assists last season provides something in the way of explanation.
This has especially been the case since Bayern Munich, on grounds of expected wages, dropped out of the race for the Chilean.
Furthermore, there has been another bitter-sweet update for Arsenal fans and one that concerns how Sanchez will behave practically to the saga.
The Guardian are reporting that in spite of interest from Pep Guardiola, the 28-year-old will not go on strike to force through an exit. City were not expecting Sanchez to take such action and have been caught off guard.
Sergio Aguero can breathe a sigh of relief as a result with the news all but confirming his future at the Etihad Stadium. After all, interest from clubs such as Chelsea would have been somewhat eased by the arrival of Sanchez.
It is also stated that Sanchez will give nothing but his all as long as he remains an Arsenal player.
So, on the whole, as expected but it shows the 28-year-old isn’t as desperate to leave as Premier League stars have been in the past.
That isn’t to say the want-away tendencies have passed, however. Sanchez has expressed his desire for Champions League football and Arsenal’s recent fifth place finish has robbed him of such a privilege.
When, as per Chilean radio, the forward considers winning the competition as: “a dream I have had since I was little,” it could prove a crucial factor going forward.
Given the current situation, though, it seems likely that the ex-Barcelona man will have to wait out 12 months to come any closer to his dream. Europa League football is certainly below his talent, yet perhaps now unavoidable.
The ball, on his own admission, is in Arsenal’s court and the Gunners have no intention to shed their star man. Barring any shock development, fans should prepare their goodbyes but at least they’ll have a year to do so.
Do you think Arsenal should sell now or hold on to Sanchez for one more season? Let us know by leaving a comment below.