Alexis Sanchez’s startling omission from Arsenal’s matchday squad for their Premier League fixture away to Bournemouth on Saturday has sent the rumour mills into overdrive, with unconfirmed reports coming in that the wantaway winger is on the verge of a move to arch-rivals Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger, in his pre-match interview to Sky Sports, stated: “It’s not ideal for him to play right now with everything going on. So I kept him at home. Don’t read too much into it but yes, a decision is imminent. However, I cannot confirm his destination”.
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The Chilean winger, who is out of a contract in the summer and will be thus available on a free transfer then, has been courted by Manchester City and Manchester United in the past week, with many media reports stating that the Red Devils seem to have won the race to sign the Arsenal man.
Despite the fact that the 29-year-old will be available for no cost in less than six months, the Manchester clubs have been in hot pursuit to sign the Chilean for a fee expected to set them back a reported £30 million.
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While City were first to put in a bid, United made a late swoop and are said to have made an offer with the out-of-favour Henrikh Mkhitaryan included as a makeweight.
Jose Mourinho had stated on Friday that it was rare that a player of Sanchez’s calibre was available for a relatively low price, further fuelling speculation that the Red Devils were in the hunt.
Arsene Wenger, who was adamant that Sanchez would not be sold in the previous summer, has stated that unless a replacement is signed he will not sanction a sale but with reports of the North Londoners closing in on Bordeaux’s Brazilian winger Malcom, it appears Sanchez is on the verge of a move to Manchester.
Pep Guardiola signed Sanchez for Barcelona during their Nou Camp days but the City manager is known to rotate his squad on a regular basis and the fact that United were bettering the wages offered by the Sky Blues and offering Sanchez a confirmed starting spot have made the Red half of Manchester a more inviting proposition.