Manchester City have reportedly made a stunning cash-plus-player offer to seal the transfer of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, with Raheem Sterling offered as part of the deal.
The Blues have been chasing Sanchez all summer but have so far failed to persuade the Gunners into selling their star player, despite him only having a year left on his contract.
Arsenal have publicly stated that they’re ready to lose the Chile international on a free next summer, but it remains to be seen if a swap deal like this one could force them to reconsider.
According to the Daily Mirror, City are ready to sacrifice a name as big as Sterling in order to persuade Arsenal to let Sanchez go, though it is not clear how much cash is also on offer in the bid.
Arsenal were also one of the clubs linked with Sterling towards the end of his time at previous club Liverpool, when he forced a departure from Anfield before moving to the Etihad Stadium for £44million.
However, the England winger has since struggled to reach his best form and now looks to be surplus to requirements in Pep Guardiola’s squad.
With Guardiola bringing in attacking players such as Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva in his short time at City, it’s clear Sterling faces increased competition for a place in the starting XI.
Sanchez’s arrival would surely hamper his chances further, though it is by no means certain that Arsenal will back down on losing such an important player so late on in the summer.
Arsene Wenger recently explained his reasoning for keeping Sanchez, saying he was prioritising the strength of his playing squad despite the financial risk of refusing to cash in on the 28-year-old now.
‘It’s my decision, but the board has to, of course, agree with me. And if they don’t agree we have to consider it as well, and I will accept it. But the board is behind me on that,’ he said earlier this month.
‘I am a football manager, I want Sanchez to stay, and that’s it. After that, all the financial implications, for me, is less important.’
Another potential complication in the deal is that Arsenal would reportedly prefer to have City striker Sergio Aguero over Sterling, according to Sky Sports.
Aguero was City’s top scorer with 33 goals in 45 games in all competitions last season, but has not always seen eye to eye with manager Guardiola, leading to much speculation that he could leave the club.
Still, the Argentina international would likely have the pick of Europe’s elite were he to be made available by City, making Arsenal a somewhat unlikely destination for a player regarded as one of the best in the world in his position.
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