European elite join race to sign Arsenal star as his contract runs down
Arsenal contract rebel Alexis Sanchez is at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain both keen on a summer move for the Chilean, according to the Daily Mirror.
Sanchez has been in excellent form for the Gunners this season, scoring 17 goals helping them challenge for another Premier League title. But with their chances dwindling, and just 18 months to run on his contract at the Emirates Stadium, the club are fearful that they could lose their talisman.
Talks continue to stall on a new deal, meaning it is increasingly likely the player will depart. Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona back in 2014 after the arrival of Luis Suarez from Liverpool forced him out of the Camp Nou.
Italian champions Juventus believe they are in a strong position to sign the 28-year-old, who plied his trade in Serie A with Udinese prior to joining Barça. But the Mirror claims PSG also fancy their chances of luring Alexis to Ligue 1 after sounding out his representatives.
The truth is, though, that is is not obvious where Sanchez would fit in at either club. With Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, a former Arsenal target, leading the line so well in Turin, there may not be room there, while PSG are more than happy with Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, the former Manchester United man, and Julian Draxler, another player Arsenal were linked with before he left Wolfsburg in January.
There is real uncertainty at Arsenal right now, and Alexis isn’t the only one whose future is up in the air. The Gunners are facing similar issues with playmaker Mesut Ozil, who joined a year prior to Sanchez from Real Madrid in a club record £42million deal. The Germany international has said he will wait to see about boss Arsene Wenger’s plans before deciding on his own destiny, per Sky.
Fans continue to be disgruntled with the current management of the team, and Wenger’s legendary status may well be under threat despite leading the club to three Premier League titles in the first half of his 20-year reign at the helm. A number of highly-rated coaches have recently been linked as replacements, again by the Mirror, including Bayer Leverkusen’s Roger Schmidt, Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, Juve’s Masimilliano Allegri and Borussia Dortmund’s Tomas Tuchel.
It remains to be seen whether Wenger will stay on once again beyond this season, or whether that decision will have any impact on whether Sanchez or Ozil stay at the club.
Arsenal will be loathed to lose Sanchez if he does depart. He has become a talisman not only because of his ability on the ball, but his work-rate and sheer enjoyment of being on the football pitch.