Arsenal’s want-away winger Alexis Sanchez has confirmed he will be on the move from the Emirates this summer, ending any hopes Gunners fans had of keeping the talismanic Chilean in North London.
And while Arsene Wenger may declare that he is confident that the 28-year-old will sign a new deal said to be worth £300,000 per week, the French tactician should brace to lose yet another big gun.
There is no shortage of suitors for Sanchez and The Statesman takes a look at three clubs that are said to be leading the race for the Chilean’s signature.
What a move it would be. One can already imagine the hordes of Gooners that would be burning the Chilean’s jersey should he make the switch to Arsenal’s arch-rivals.
And what a team the Blues would have, transforming from Premier League favourites to continental heavyweights, as with Eden Hazard on one wing and Sanchez on the other, they could take the fight to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, even.
Chelsea are on the lookout for a striker with Diego Costa having set his heart on a move away from Stamford Bridge and while Sanchez is not a like-for-like replacement, his presence would certainly lighten the goalscoring burden on the others.
With manager Antonio Conte having a propensity towards players who work their socks off, Sanchez would undoubtedly be a perfect fit at Chelsea. The bonus for the Chilean is that he doesn't have to uproot his family as he gets to stay in London.
The only problem, however, is the fact that while Chelsea have considerable financial strength, if it comes down to a bidding war with City, they are unlikely to outbid the Manchester outfit.
Along with Chelsea, City are the favourites to land the winger and the trump card the Sky Blues have is that Sanchez is said to favour a reunion with former Barcelona and current City manager Pep Guardiola.
While Chelsea have made some splashes in the transfer market, City have been making statements almost every week with some high-profile signings and look nowhere close to being done yet.
If the Blues would look scary with Sanchez in their line-up, Guardiola’s team would look downright frightening with the 28-year-old in the side. Imagine, the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero all in one team. The goals would come in by the dozen and under a tactical genius like Guardiola, they could rule England and Europe for the foreseeable future at least.
While City have the edge over the other contenders in terms of sheer financial strength, Arsenal’s reported asking price of £80 million could put off even the Abu Dhabi-owned outfit.
Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the Bavarian’s interest in signing Sanchez, but has said they will not pay “crazy money”. Therein lies the problem for any potential move to Germany.
For while Sanchez would be a terrific replacement for the ageing Franck Ribery, Die Bayern are unlikely to shell out a figure upwards of £50 million for a player who turns 29 in December and is entering the final year of his contract.
Fellow Chilean Arturo Vidal has been quite the hit in the Bundesliga and stated he would love to have his compatriot with him in Munich in a bid to sway the winger. And playing alongside the likes of Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez and Thiago Alcantara is an appealing prospect indeed.
Bayern are itching to win the Champions League after a four-year drought and while Rodriguez’s arrival has considerably strengthened their squad, Sanchez could be the missing piece of the puzzle in their bid to win a sixth European crown.