The success of Arsenal’s transfer window is dependant on whether the Gunners retain the services of Alexis Sanchez, with the Chilean’s potential availability leaving Manchester City circling.
The two-time Copa America winner has entered the final 12 months of his contract and will be available on a free transfer next summer if he does not pen a new deal, leading to plenty of speculation that the Gunners could cash-in this summer.
That speculation rose significantly in recent days with Alexis stating to South American press that he wanted to play in the Champions League, a statement many media outlets picked up on, but he also stated that the decision on his future lies with Arsenal – and the Gunners stance is clear.
The Daily Mirror states Arsene Wenger is still confident that Alexis Sanchez will be an Arsenal player next season, although the club fear the saga is nowhere near over and expect speculation to continue for the next few weeks.
Alexis remains on extended leave following his involvement in the Confederations Cup and will return to Arsenal on July 30th, potentially making his first appearance of the season in the Charity Shield against Chelsea a week later.
Wenger seems kinda cheesed off at Alexis Sanchez. Kinda. pic.twitter.com/PqM3ck1l4Z
— M•A•J (@UltraSuristic_) July 15, 2017
Any exclusion of Alexis for the Chelsea game or the Premier League’s kick-off the following Friday against Leicester City is likely to lead to more suggestions that Arsenal could play ball – although that’s something the Gunners aren’t prepared to do currently.
Losing Alexis Sanchez would certainly be a bitter blow, especially if he were to remain in the Premier League, and the Gunners would struggle to find a replacement – as a deal for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar looks difficult to pull off.
Should Alexis remain, Arsenal have a real chance of pushing for success next season with the signings they have made but any departure will raise the pressure on the Gunners significantly, likely putting the fans back on Wenger’s back.
A hostile atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium last season was problematic for the Gunners and they’ll be keen to avoid similar problems this term – and keeping Alexis is key to keeping the fans on the club’s side.