It’s been the summer saga and at the end of it all, Alexis Sanchez, 28, remains an Arsenal player.
At the start of Deadline Day, Manchester City knew that the Gunners were minded to sell the Chilean striker but would only do so if they found a suitable replacement.
Suggestions that City part-exchange a player plus £50m fell on deaf ears at the Etihad; Pep Guardiola was happy with his squad and the calibre of player Arsenal wanted, didn’t want to move to the Emirates.
City returned with a bid of £55m plus £5m in add-ons, which wasn’t rejected by the Gunners board with the same speed as the initial £50m offer, giving City encouragement that a deal might be in the offing, claims The Guardian.
Arsenal moved swiftly to launch a bid for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar, 21, which was accepted by the French champions; €100m was too good to be true and double the north London club’s last offer.
It was all down to the player, which is where the complications set in. Arsene Wenger arrived in Paris for talks but Lemar decided he wanted more time to think over the move. Didier Deschamps barred his squad from interrupting their match preparations further ahead of their must-win World Cup Qualifier against the Netherlands.
Lemar couldn’t be persuaded to change his mind and his move to Arsenal was off. Some sources claim he preferred Liverpool if he comes to England but there are contradictory reports about that this evening.
All the while, in Chile, the powerless Sanchez learned that his fate remains in the capital for another three months at least.