Liverpool Transfer News: Alexis Sanchez Deal Claimed by Reds Hero Phil Thompson

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 23:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 23, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has indicated Alexis Sanchez's prospective move from Barcelona is "done."

The Reds hero spoke live on Dublin's Newstalk, where he considered Luis Suarez's future after the Uruguayan striker appeared to bite Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's World Cup win over Italy, per BBC News.

During his chat on the Breakfast show with Ivan Yates and Chris Donoghue, Thompson appeared to let some inside information slip. Details come directly from Newstalk's playback feature (listen from 28 minutes in):

What will happen to Suarez? Will he go? Is it angling for it? Even just yesterday I heard things from newspaper guys with their ear very close to the ground at Liverpool, saying that the Sanchez deal was actually done.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 14:  In this handout image provided by the ITM Group, Phil Thompson attends the Liverpool FC Legends Tour Pre-match press conference at Moses Mabhida Stadium on November 14, 2013 in Durban, South Africa on November 14, 2013
Handout/Getty Images

Thompson goes on to suggest that bringing in Sanchez is a smart way of easing Suarez out of the Liverpool fold.

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the striker for an incident that has completely overshadowed the latest round of World Cup matches. Considering this is Suarez's third biting incident as a professional, he is expected to be heavily reprimanded.

As detailed here, Liverpool face the real prospect of seeing their star player banned for domestic or European matches. Thompson's quote indicates a deal for Sanchez was on the horizon before Suarez's latest mishap, but that Rodgers might be coaxed into speeding things along now that the former Ajax forward has repeated indefensible behaviour.

Matt Law of The Telegraph believes Arsenal "have made an enquiry" for Sanchez, but that may prove to be too little, too late if Thompson's quip comes to fruition. 

While the Sky Sports pundit doesn't hazard an exact answer as to whether he believes Suarez delivered the bite in a bid to move on, former Leeds United manager Neil Warnock suggests it could be a possibility, per Nick Rostron-Pike of talkSPORT:

"It wouldn’t surprise me if it [the bite] was planned," said Warnock on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. "I know it sounds silly but I thought he would do something to trigger a move away. If all of these big clubs are after him, then it doesn’t surprise me at all."

Sanchez would certainly be an excellent replacement for Suarez. Unfortunately, many Liverpool fans may have their hearts set on seeing the duo play alongside Daniel Sturridge, forming one of football's deadliest trios. It would certainly be a step sideways to see Sanchez arrive as Suarez's replacement, not his colleague.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 23:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile controls the ball agains Daley Blind of the Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 23, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

The Chilean would likely become one of Rodgers' firm favourites, since he prefers to use versatile players throughout his squad. Sanchez can slot into the attacking line, just behind the striker or on the wings, offering an ambitious and creative outlet whenever he receives the ball. His playing style can be compared to Suarez, with both offering an elusiveness on the ball.

Thompson's comments are sure to get many excited. Many Liverpool fans will have questioned their loyalty to Suarez over the past 24 hours, and thoughts of bringing in an alternative star could see the relationships strained even further.

Sanchez would be a top signing for any club in the world, but it would be a disappointment to see the deal accelerated because of Suarez's unprofessional performance.