Alexis Sanchez is said to be "on route" to Arsenal ahead of a proposed move from Barcelona.
The Chilean star is reported to be preparing for a medical by Colin Harvey of the Daily Star, who also notes he is "flying into London to put the finishing touches on his transfer."
Arsene Wenger is expected to fork out £32 million for the versatile forward, a decent deal considering he is just 25 years old and has two years remaining on his contract in Catalonia, per Transfermarkt. The French boss, who is currently providing World Cup punditry for French television, reacted humorously when asked if he had spotted any talent at the Brazilian tournament, per 101 Great Goals:
Stan Collymore, talkSPORT radio presenter and Bleacher Report UK guest columnist, also grabbed information direct from Wenger:
Arsenal's positioning in the potential Sanchez deal appears strengthened by other clubs withdrawing their interest. Liverpool appeared in pole position and may have asked for the player to be included in Luis Suarez's likely transfer to the Camp Nou, but they are said to have agreed a £75 million cash sum for the Uruguayan, per Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail.
Juventus "have pulled out of the race" to sign Sanchez, according to Harvey, leaving Arsenal with a straight shot at their man. Although tentative interest appeared to come from Manchester United and Manchester City, as reported by Chisanga Malata of the Daily Star, it seems neither are seriously competing to capture the hard-working player who starred during Chile's run to the World Cup round of 16.
It is widely reported Sanchez would prefer to live in London, as noted by David Kent of the Daily Mail. The conditions are certainly right for both the player and club to enjoy a harmonious relationship. Sanchez is unneeded now Barca can expect to have Suarez lining up alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, despite the former Udinese star's tremendous quality.
Arsenal's transfer budget has certainly heightened since the club paid off its Emirates bill in 2013. Last year's £42.5 million capture of Mesut Ozil saw the Gunners add a truly world-class star to their side, following on from Santi Cazorla the year before. Sanchez's imminent arrival makes it three top signings in as many years for the manager who is often criticised for his lack of ambition.
Wenger is in desperate need of a powerful, pacey and lethal striker to challenge Olivier Giroud's place in the team. Arsenal have the components to make a run for the title—a consistently solid defence, tonnes of talent in midfield and youngsters who continue to improve—but a 25-goal per season striker needs to be added.
Sanchez represents a tremendously smart signing. Wenger will be thankful for what appears to be a pretty simple route to landing the Barcelona ace, as he surely anticipated more of a battle. While Arsenal fans should never tempt fate by considering a future with Sanchez in the side, the player's reported journey to London is a telltale sign of his ambitions.
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