He might have been declared surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp but he seems a hot property somewhere else. Such is the tale of Barca’s Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez. The former Udinese forward has been a subject of transfer inquest from different top European clubs (Arsenal, Juventus and Liverpool) and with Barca keen on improving their forward line as they have been linked with a move for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, they will have to sell before they can sign the Uruguayan forward who is certain to cost big money. Sanchez is one of the sellable players at Nou Camp and this means Barca might find a big money offer too good to refuse.
It is not going to be all about money in deciding Sanchez future as the clubs interested seem to have money to spend; Juventus, Arsenal and Liverpool ( well, Juve do not have so much money judging by reports). The situation has even been further complicated with the entry of Manchester United into the race for his signature. Should it become a straight contest between Arsenal and Manchester United for the Chilean forward, which I believe will be the case if the reports linking Shagiri to Liverpool are true, I believe Arsenal stand the chance of winning the race for him and here are my reasons.
His chances of regular football is brighter at Arsenal than at Manchester United. If he is leaving Barca, a club where he has been more of a bench player, he won’t want to move to another club and continue with his bit part role. That would almost be his fate at Manchester United. I am not disputing that he would get some games but the question is will he be the first choice? Certainly not. Under Van Gaal, Van Persie would be the first choice striker and there is still Rooney who would almost also play. That is a sharp contrast to what will be his situation at Arsenal. At the Emirates, he would be one of the first names on the team sheet either in Giroud’s place as a central forward or playing alongside him on the wings.
Champions League football is another big reason. The 20 times English had a season to forget in the just concluded season. They didn’t make Europe and that is an edge Arsenal have over them. Not only can the Gunners offer Sanchez European football, they can actually offer him Champions League football. One of the main reasons why he left Udinese for Barca was the lure of Champions League football so I don’t see how he would leave for a club where champions league football is not on offer ( even if temporarily ) when clubs that can offer it are jostling for his signature.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger isn’t new to Sanchez. He was on his trail when he was still at Udinese but lost out to Barca. Wenger returning for him would be a proof to Sanchez that indeed Wenger likes him and can mould him into a better player. After the bitter sweet adventure at Nou Camp, he would want his next move to be to a club where he would be appreciated.
Finally, Arsenal’s good relationship with Barca could also give the Gunners the edge in the race for Sanchez. The Catalans have done more business with the Gunners than with Manchester United. In recent seasons, it has been one way traffic with players leaving Arsenal for Barca, selling Sanchez to Arsenal will be a little way of reciprocating Arsenal’s gesture. As far as I am concerned, Arsenal are the best option for Sanchez and should Wenger back up his love for him with a concrete bid, the Gunners would land him.