Sunday 20 January 2019

Gunners face deadline day meltdown

Arsenal reject City's £50m bid for Chilean playmaker Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are set to leave Arsenal. Photo: Action Images via Reuters
Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are set to leave Arsenal. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Arsenal could be in for a long 48 hours as a host of their players have been linked with moves away from the Emirates S-tadium before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez are the headline names who are reportedly close to securing deals to leave the club.

England international Oxlade-Chamberlain is a target for Chelsea while Sanchez has been linked with Manchester City for much of the summer. Last night it was reported that the Gunners had rejected a £50million bid from City for the Chilean.

However, with just two days remaining before the transfer deadline at 11.0pm tomorrow, the pair could yet complete their moves.

Both are out of contract at the end of the season, although manager Arsene Wenger has stressed on several occasions that he wishes for the pair to remain at Arsenal.

The Frenchman - who has spoken for weeks about the need to trim his squad - is already under pressure after Sunday's 4-0 loss at Liverpool. Brazilian defender Gabriel was sold to Valencia last week and, as well as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez, there are several other players who may leave.

West Brom are close to signing England left-back Kieran Gibbs, who is to have a medical at the Hawthorns, while Shkodran Mustafi, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy could also be sold.

Striker Lucas Perez has been told he can leave but the Spaniard may now remain at the club as a deal with Deportivo - his former side and preferred option - is still some way off.


With the future of so many of the current squad still uncertain, Wenger may yet seek to add new recruits.

The likes of West Brom's Jonny Evans and Julian Draxler from Paris St Germain are reported targets, while it has been suggested Arsenal are keen on a swap deal involving Raheem Sterling should Sanchez move to City.

An abject performance in losing so heavily at Anfield has already seen pressure begin to build on Wenger - who signed a new two-year deal in May amid protests against his continued reign. Former Arsenal forward Ian Wright believes it is time for Wenger to call time on his over two-decade spell at the helm.

Wright said on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Where do we start? The amount of things that are going wrong, it does come back to Arsene Wenger's door. We're three games in and we're literally at crisis point.

"Do I think he should go? I would like him to go simply because I do not believe now that Arsene Wenger can motivate those players with everything that's going on above him.

"And the way the players are performing on the pitch, for him to turn this around....(It's) for himself, for his own sanity. We are three games in and it's already an absolute nightmare.

"Where does he go from here?"

Wenger has said for several months that he would not sell Sanchez in this window and would instead allow the Chile forward to walk away for free at the end of his contract.

He has taken the same stance with Mesut Ozil, whose deal also expires in 2018, although his resolve with the Germany international has not been tested with any bids.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been at Arsenal since joining from Southampton in 2011 and Wenger said just last week that the 24-year-old will be "one of the big English players in the coming years".

Despite that, it appears Oxlade-Chamberlain has determined his future lies away from Arsenal, with Chelsea reportedly very close to announcing his signing.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News