It’s the drama of summer 2017. Arsenal, a club perennially in battles to hold onto their best players, face a fight to hold onto their most precious asset, Alexis Sanchez. They may have already lost the war but will not let the 28-year-old Chilean striker leave cheaply.
Sunday Mirror journalist, Steve Stammers, writer of the official Arsenal biography, reports that the Gunners are willing to sell their superstar for a fee of £80m. It’s not the white flag but acceptance, nonetheless, of defeat in this battle.
Manchester City are favoured as his destination but Arsène Wenger refuses to sell to a Premier League rival. Sanchez is determined to reunite with Pep Guardiola, his manager for a season at Barcelona, and challenge for the Champions League.
Arsenal, previously entrants in UEFA’s premier trophy, missed out on qualifying for the first time in two decades by finishing fifth last season. Sanchez is not the only big-name player looking for an exit but is the most talked about.
Mesut Özil, 28, has yet to commit to Arsenal and is reportedly demanding £350,000 per week from the north London club. Fans are beginning to question whether either player is worth the mega-deals they demand; the Gunners have been slipped backwards in the title race for a number of years.
Wenger wants to hold onto both players. However, the prospect of both being at the club when their contracts expire at the end of next season are receding with each passing day.