Arsenal contract rebel Alexis Sanchez will reportedly remain at the Emirates Stadium this season after the Gunners were unable to secure a move for AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar, whom they saw as his replacement.
The Guardian's David Hytner reported that despite the fact Arsenal were willing to pay Lemar's €100 million (£92 million) valuation, it's been deemed too late to cut a deal, meaning Sanchez will also stay put for now:
The north Londoners would have considered selling Sanchez to Manchester City for the £60 million they were offering had they secured Lemar as a replacement, but the failure to secure reinforcements means the Chilean should remain.
The Mirror's John Cross nodded to another potential replacement Arsenal had in mind had they sold Sanchez, although the late fashion of the deadline-day frenzy makes any transfers that much more difficult to execute:
Lemar is due to line up for France against the Netherlands in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Thursday evening, a match that kicks off only a few hours prior to the transfer deadline at 11 p.m. BST (6 p.m. ET).
The Gunners have held firm in their decision to retain Sanchez despite the fact they risk losing him for nothing if he runs down the last year of his contract, a decision that Cross praised the club for:
City's most recent offer for the South American was understood to be worth £55 million, plus a further £5 million in add-ons, but it was a chief priority for Arsenal to ensure they had a replacement coming in return.
While Cross suggests Arsenal deserve praise for their unwillingness to sell prized asset Sanchez, ESPN's Martyn Thomas illustrated the pitfalls of leaving major business down to the last minute:
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has managed to build much on the club-record signature of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, which is particularly disappointing after the club failed to finish in the Premier League's top four for the first time in 20 years last season.
Now the Gunners face the prospect of this being their last season with Sanchez before he leaves on a free transfer next summer, with it being too late in the day to execute a move for Monaco maestro Lemar.