After weeks of playing hardball with star player Alexis Sanchez’s future, Arsenal have opened negotiations with Manchester City over the player’s future and hope to reach a deal before the summer transfer window slams shut on Thursday.
Goal understands Alexis remains keen to link up with Pep Guardiola at City and the Gunners are now considering the idea of selling the Chilean, having previously stubbornly refused to entertain any offers for the Chilean throughout the summer.
Arsenal are however pushing for Raheem Sterling to be included in any deal that will see their Chilean star move over to City but City themselves are said to be mooting the idea of including Fabian Delph in what should be mutually beneficial.
There have also been reports elsewhere in the media that the Gunners have floated the idea of including Sergio Aguero in the deal, though sources close to the player insist the Argentine has no desire to make the move.
While Alexis has long since agreed personal terms with City, Arsenal would have to swiftly reach an agreement with any potential replacement, meaning a cash-only deal remains a distinct possibility and indeed the most likely outcome.
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The forward told Chile team-mates towards that end of last season that he wanted to reunite with Guardiola, with whom he worked at Barcelona, and then agreed personal terms with City during the summer.
Having concluded the Confederations Cup, where he revealed he had made up his mind about his future, he informed Arsenal he wanted to move to the Etihad Stadium and would not sign a new deal with the London club.
Sources close to City have been surprised by Arsene Wenger’s refusal to agree a deal throughout July and into August, although there had been insinuations that the Arsenal boss was merely delaying the inevitable as long as possible, so as to deprive Pep Guardiola of the Chilean’s services for the opening games of the season.
City and Arsenal finally opened talks over the weekend and although a Gunners spokeman has told Goal that an official offer has yet to be made, the City rivals are hopeful they will manage to conclude a deal soon, despite the fact Alexis is in Chile ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Bolivia.
He is said to have requested time off from preparations ahead of Thursday’s game, and sources close to the player have revealed he is confident he will finally become a City player in the coming days.