Where Will Alexis Sanchez Play Next Season?
This summer’s most anticipated transfer saga continues to drag on amid a will-he, won’t-he suspense that seems to take a new twist with each passing day. Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League has pushed the former Barcelona winger closer to an exit from the North London club.
Arsenal’s poor management of contracts for their key players has been under the spotlight, with Sanchez being one of several important first team players whose contract expires at the end of the upcoming season. The mercurial Chilean was the club’s top scorer last season, has been voted by fans as Arsenal’s player of the season for two out of his three seasons at the club and was even crowned PFA Fans’ Player of the Season in his debut season in England.
This has been in stark contrast to Arsenal’s underwhelming performance in both the Premier League and throughout Europe, most notably getting thrashed 10-2 on aggregate by a rampant Bayern Munich side.
The Gunners inability to compete for major trophies has left Sanchez disillusioned with the club, and he has been widely speculated to seek a move away this summer. Sanchez made a sensational declaration a few days ago:
“I want to play in the Champions League. I’ve already taken my decision, but now I depend on Arsenal and see what they want. My idea is to play in and win the Champions League. It’s a dream that I’ve had since I was small. For now, I’m at Arsenal and my contract finishes in another year.”
With betting sites offering some jaw dropping odds, we objectively analyze Sanchez’s potential destinations at the end of this summer transfer window in order to help you maximize your earnings!
Bayern Munich – 7/1
At the start of the summer, Munich seemed like the most realistic destination for Sanchez as the German side is known to not only dominate their domestic league, but they are also perennial favorites to win the Champions League (along with likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona). However, Bayern refused to match both the player’s exorbitant £400,000 per week wage demands, as well as Arsenal’s high transfer fees for the player who has just one year remaining on his contract, which Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described as “nonsense.”
Instead of destroying their wage structure on Sanchez, they instead secured a 2-year loan deal for Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez. When pressed yet again about Sanchez, Rummenigge recently said, “We are no longer involved in this. No interest!”
Manchester City – 11/4
Manchester City is Sanchez’s preferred destination, as it would allow him to play in the same league instead of having to move to a different country. City has the financial resources to meet the diminutive winger’s wage demands as well as any transfer fees. This is boosted by the fact that they can offer him the chance to play with fellow Chilean, Claudio Bravo under manager Pep Guardiola, who was instrumental in bringing Sanchez to Barcelona from Udinese in 2011.
Although he spent only one season under Guardiola at Barcelona, City offers the perfect mix of ambition and money to the player. Reliable sources close to the Sky Blues have repeatedly reported that Sanchez has already agreed on personal terms with the club.
The obstacle though is huge. After years of selling his best players to his rivals in order to pay off the stadium debt, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is adamant that he will no longer strengthen a direct rival at any cost whatsoever. Wenger is believed to be willing to take the risk of losing his talisman for free next season rather than just gifting City the league by selling them his star man this summer.
PSG – 9/4
Just like Manchester City, the Qatari group-owned Paris club has unlimited financial reserves, and can easily fund a move for Sanchez. The club’s owners have been consistently vocal about their desire and ambition to lift the Champions League trophy and came ever so close to eliminating Barcelona in last season’s campaign before eventually crumbling under the pressure.
It can be argued that they will turn into genuine contenders for the most prestigious European club competition with the acquisition of a player of Sanchez’s caliber. PSG already bought Dani Alves from right under the noses of Manchester City this summer, and have refused to sell midfield metronome, Verrati to Barcelona. They are rumored to have activated the €222 Million release clause of Barcelona’s Neymar, although it is unlikely that the Brazilian will switch clubs this summer.
A more realistic signing for PSG would be Sanchez; if the Arsenal winger is extremely insistent on leaving for a Champions League team this summer, Arsenal might just give in to his wishes. They would prefer to sell him to PSG since they don’t compete in the same league anyway.
Arsenal – 11/10
Arsene Wenger has maintained the same stance throughout this entire summer: Alexis Sanchez will not be sold. Arsenal fans will be wary of his promises though, as he has gone on record to say similar things about former stars Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie in the past only for the club to sell them shortly thereafter.
However, finishing outside the top 4 for the first time in 20 years seems to have really jolted Arsenal into action. Not only has there been a massive back room shuffle, but the club has also shown some much-needed spine and ambition by buying new players early in the transfer window, including the club record signing of Lacazette.
The Gunners have also rebuffed interest from top clubs for players such as Bellerin and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and have said that they will not sell their top stars. Arsenal doesn’t need the money from Sanchez’s sale, and they can easily recoup around £40 Million by qualifying for the Champions League next year. Selling Alexis would be a disaster and will surely have terrible ripple effects: Arsenal will get the label of a small, selling club, no elite players will want to join them, and they would face an uphill struggle to return to Champions League football just the way Liverpool has over the last decade.
Wenger laid down the law in an emphatic manner a couple of days ago when asked about Sanchez’s future: “The decision has been made and we will stick to that. The decision is not to sell.” Their position is further reinforced by Monaco’s refusal to sell Thomas Lemar to them. Wenger is a huge fan of the French attacker and might have possibly looked at him as a long term replacement for Sanchez.
As this saga looks more and more unlikely to reach a conclusion any time before the very end of this transfer window, Arsenal is arguably in the strongest position to retain the services of the enigmatic Chilean superstar for the upcoming season.
While smart money would be on Sanchez staying at Arsenal when the transfer window closes this summer, it might just be worth placing a small bet on PSG—since they’re the only interested club that Arsenal might potentially agree to sell Sanchez to.