Arsenal are reportedly fearful Alexis Sanchez could follow manager Arsene Wenger out of the exit door at the Emirates Stadium.
According to the Mirror's John Cross, Wenger looks set to leave this summer and the club has "already made discreet inquiries about potential replacements."
Sanchez, who is wanted by Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, might also be gearing up to move on, and the Gunners are afraid he "has made up his mind to leave following a lengthy contract standoff."
On Wednesday, they suffered a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich to leave them on the verge of their seventh consecutive exit from the UEFA Champions League at the last-16 stage.
The Sun's Charlie Wyett reported Sanchez "plans to quit" after taking part in a "furious dressing-room row" after that match, though Wenger denied such an argument took place, according to ESPN FC's Mattias Karen.
Arsenal also appear to be out of the Premier League title race, as they sit 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, prompting yet more calls for the manager to depart.
As noted by BBC Sport's David Ornstein, Wenger has the option to stay beyond his contract—which expires this summer—but he won't decide anything until closer to the time:
David Ornstein @bbcsport_david
Arsene Wenger's future will be decided at end of season. New deal offered earlier still on table but will be mutual decision in summer #AFC2017-2-16 09:29:05
The Frenchman has divided fans for some time.
Wenger is the club's most successful manager, having won three Premier League titles and six FA Cups. He's also ensured Champions League qualification in each of the past 19 years, not to mention his teams have played some exquisite football in that time.
However, the unbeaten league season of 2003-04 was their last title win, and the last decade has largely been characterised by the repeating cycle of being knocked out of Europe in the first knockout stage and failing to mount or sustain a significant title challenge.
Even last year, when Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all struggled, the Gunners failed to threaten Leicester City despite inflicting two of the Foxes' three league defeats upon them.
One of the most concerning issues that remains unresolved is Arsenal's lack of mental strength, which was on display again on Wednesday.
Bleacher Report UK's James McNicholas believes the club no longer has a winning mentality under Wenger:
A team with no fear of their manager, who both expect and accept failure. Arsenal are not realistically aiming for success under Wenger.2017-2-15 21:40:27
Has anyone gone back & looked at how often #AFC have been thrashed in recent years? Surely no other *big* side takes such regular drubbings.2017-2-16 12:09:19
Arguably the only player exempt from that is Sanchez, whose drive and determination set him apart from his team-mates, making him perhaps their most important asset.
The Chile international has been in fine form this season and racked up 20 goals and 16 assists in all competitions.
Per Goal's Chris Wheatley, the forward was allowed to travel to Italy on Thursday for a break ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Sutton United on Monday, their only fixture until March 4:
Whether Wenger stays or not, it's imperative Arsenal keep Sanchez if they have any ambition of becoming a team that can challenge for the title once more, both for his quality on the pitch and the mentality he brings.
However, as they are set to repeat their cycle of failure yet again, the 28-year-old is likely giving plenty of consideration to his future—he perhaps only has two or three more seasons at the top of his game, and he's good enough that he should be with a club that is winning domestic and European trophies.