Arsenal are "very confident" of signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona after Andoni Zubizarreta, the Catalan club's sporting director, admitted potential Camp Nou exits are likely to begin appearing across the next week.
John Cross of the Mirror indicates his fellow Gunners fans can start to consider a future with Sanchez in the lineup during his interview with the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT, where he admitted Juventus will struggle to compete with Arsenal's financial clout:
Arsenal are very confident of getting the deal done. Their biggest rivals to this one is Juventus, but I'm not sure they have actually got the cash to stump up a deal. If Arsenal can agree it quickly, then there is a deal there to be done. It is not a done deal yet, but they do seem confident on it and hopefully they can get it over the line.
Tony Barrett of The Times (subscription required) reports Liverpool "have conceded defeat" in their hunt for the Chilean forward, who has gained plenty of plaudits for his World Cup performances. Barrett also provided an update on the entire situation via Twitter:
Sanchez says "no" to Liverpool, "not likely" to Milan, "possibly" to Juventus & "definitely maybe" to Arsenal (£): http://t.co/vNnGeh1ZRw— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) July 8, 2014
Arsenal are used to being linked with big players and eventually missing out—with Gonzalo Higuain being the most memorable in recent times—but it seems momentum is heading toward Sanchez agreeing to an Emirates deal.
Comments made by Zubizarreta also suggest Sanchez will be on his way. When asked whether any outgoing transfers will be taking place to offset the £62 million set to be spent on Luis Suarez, he admitted player exits are on the horizon.
"Let's see if we're able to sort out some of those issues this week. We hope to have a decision on most of them," said Zubizarreta, per Marca. The Spanish publication also notes Sanchez is "more up for a move to the London club" with regards to Arsenal, per an alternate report.
Is Alexis Sanchez potentially a bigger signing for Arsenal than Mesut Ozil?
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo cites "the desire of Sanchez's family to live in the capital as key to his decision." Speeding things up, Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail believes Arsenal wish to tie up a deal by early next week, while Sanchez's agent is expected to fly to London during the "coming days."
Such a vast spread of reports highlights the rapidly moving nature of this potential transfer. Most promisingly for Arsenal fans, all can agree it is the North London club that are closest to securing Sanchez's future.
He isn't the out-and-out striker Arsene Wenger desperately needs, but there's no doubt Sanchez's world-class quality can significantly improve the Gunners' attacking output. He scored 19 goals in 34 appearances for Barcelona last season, per WhoScored.com, and is versatile enough to play on either wing or through the middle.
Sanchez's speed, dribbling skill and lethality will slot straight into Wenger's plans. The Frenchman will hope the player's busyness can up the intensity of players such as Mesut Ozil, who has more to give in the famous red and white shirt.
All the signs are pointing toward Sanchez becoming an Arsenal player soon. If this happens, he may just be a bigger coup than Wenger's splurge for the aforementioned German during last summer's transfer window.