Paris Saint-Germain will reportedly offer Alexis Sanchez a signing-on fee worth £9 million in the January transfer window in the hopes of beating Manchester City to the free-transfer capture of the Arsenal forward.
Sanchez, whose contract with the Gunners expires next summer, can negotiate with foreign clubs from January, something PSG are keen to take advantage of. Les Parisiens are ready to offer the gifted attacker an eye-watering signing bonus to secure a deal ahead of schedule this winter, per Chilean source El Mercurio (h/t Tom Sheen of The Sun).
Significantly, Sheen revealed "it is not clear in this report whether PSG would have to pay more in the summer." He also noted how PSG took the first steps toward a move for Sanchez as early as this summer's transfer window:
"Sanchez met with PSG representatives in the summer where he demanded a staggering £400,000-a-week salary.
"Despite their massive wealth, the French club baulked at the price, admitting they could not afford it.
"But PSG did offer Sanchez around £275,000-a-week - and promised him a massive up-front fee.
"If Sanchez arrives, PSG top goalscorer Edinson Cavani would make way."
The news is said to be bad for Arsenal's Premier League rivals City, per Sheen. Sanchez has been linked with the Manchester club for most of the summer, but a move to the Etihad Stadium now looks in jeopardy.
Last week, a report from Daniel Cutts of The Sun revealed how the Citizens were growing mindful about the possibility of PSG luring Sanchez to Ligue 1 with a bumper offer.
City boss Pep Guardiola would surely rue PSG's interference after spending most of the summer linked with the forward he once worked with at Barcelona. A deal was even thought to be in place for Sanchez to head to Manchester on transfer deadline day, only for the proposed move to ultimately fail to materialise, according to BBC Sport's David Ornstein.
Whichever new club Sanchez goes to, his exit will be a massive blow for the Gunners. The 28-year-old is still Arsenal's most influential attacking player, despite a stunted start to the new season.
Sanchez has only made two starts in the league, per WhoScored.com, as he's battled injury and been embroiled in transfer speculation. Instead, he has been given starts in the UEFA Europe League and Carabao Cup, scoring a goal and providing an assist across both competitions, per the same source.
Some have speculated Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is making an example out of Sanchez. Among them, Gunners legend and current Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry told Monday Night Football (h/t Lewis Winter of the Daily Express) he believes Wenger is making Sanchez and fellow contract rebel Mesut Ozil earn their places: "More often than not, when Alexis Sanchez was back, whether he’s fit or not, he plays. Mesut Ozil, whether he’s fit or not or if he trained a lot or not, he plays."
It's more likely Wenger is merely taking a steady approach to integrating two players who have battled fitness issues and are the subject of constant transfer speculation back into the starting XI.
The Frenchman will know how much he needs both players, particularly Sanchez, who is the lone genuine match-winner in Arsenal's ranks.
Wenger's greater priority is to coax more solidity from his defence. So the Gunners chief should be happy to hear reports that AS Roma centre-back Kostas Manolas could be available at a cut-price fee.
Greece international Manolas will have a release clause worth £26 million included in his next contract with Roma, per Italian source Corriere dello Sport (h/t TalkSport.com). TalkSport pointed out how such a clause may tempt several suitors to renew their interest in Manolas: "That news will be a huge boost for the likes of Chelsea and Zenit, who remain interested in the 26-year-old. Arsenal, who are long-term admirers of Manolas, could now also be tempted to rekindle their interest."
Back in January, Manolas' agent, John Evangelopoulos, told Greek radio (h/t Alec Shilton of The Sun) how Roma knocked back an Arsenal bid worth £35 million for his client in the summer of 2016.
Manolas would add plenty of pace to what can be a plodding Arsenal back line. However, Wenger recently appears to have settled on his preferred three-man defence, in the form of converted left-back Nacho Monreal, alongside Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny.
Wenger praised this trio ahead of the recent 0-0 draw away to Chelsea in the league, per Metro's George Bellshaw: "On both sides of him (Mustafi), we have Koscielny and Monreal who are quick, so that looks well-balanced."
This group has steadied the Gunners' defence recently, with Arsenal keeping three clean sheets in their last three league games, after conceding eight times in the first three.
However, Koscielny is now 32 and regularly deals with Achilles problems, while Monreal is 31. With Per Mertesacker set to retire in the summer, and Calum Chambers and Rob Holding both unconvincing, Arsenal would be wise to invest in a new defender or two.
Revisiting a move for a long-term target as accomplished as Manolas would make sense for Wenger, especially at this price.
It would also be better for the Gunners to lose Sanchez to a foreign power rather than seeing him strengthen a domestic rival, particularly while being unable to recoup a sizeable fee for their star player.