Arsenal talisman Alexis Sanchez is reportedly "devastated" after failing to secure a deadline-day move to Manchester City, who are understood to be "furious" with the Gunners' handling of the transfer saga. Furthermore, Sanchez is said to be considering a strike in order to get a January move.
ESPN FC's Jonathan Smith reported the Citizens were angry with Arsenal after the north Londoners neglected to bring in a replacement for Sanchez, despite knowing about City's interest in the player since May.
City made a second bid for Sanchez on Thursday worth £55 million, plus £5 million in add-ons, while Arsenal saw a £92 million for AS Monaco winger Thomas Lemar come undone.
The Mirror's John Cross highlighted the difference made by how one perceives the failed transfer, suggesting City were also guilty of leaving their business too late:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Arsenal baffled why Man City got down to business so late. People reporting City annoyed with way Arsenal handled it. Perceptions, I guess..2017-8-31 17:33:35
Sam Lee and Chris Wheatley of Goal reported that while it's "unlikely that he will carry out his threat" to strike, Sanchez doesn't want to play for Arsenal again, with City promising to launch a cut-price bid in the winter.
Smith noted reports from earlier in the week that Arsenal had tried to convince City to part with Raheem Sterling in part-exchange for Sanchez, but the Citizens rebuffed that idea.
Knowing how adamant their north London peers were to land a replacement for Sanchez given the lateness of the bid, Pep Guardiola's side could have chosen to accept that deal instead of only offering cash.
Arsenal's failure to secure UEFA Champions League qualification for this season is likely to have stunted the club's transfer prospects, and Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol suggested Liverpool complicated the Lemar chase:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
Alexis Sanchez move from Arsenal to Man City now "in the balance" because Arsenal not getting Thomas Lemar. We're told Lemar wants Liverpool2017-8-31 16:29:10
The Gunners are now at major risk of losing Sanchez—signed from Barcelona in 2014 for £32 million—for nothing when his contract expires next summer. The forward has so far refused to sign a contract extension at the Emirates Stadium.
While City look set to make a renewed run at the Chile international during the winter transfer window, any relationship between the two clubs may have been soured by this deadline day's events.