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Alexis Sanchez’s “mind is made up” to leave Arsenal this summer, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror. Cross believes some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, are already in for Sanchez, whose contract with the Gunners expires in 2018.
However, Cross does believe Sanchez’s fellow contract rebel, playmaker Mesut Ozil, is more likely to agree a new deal and stay in north London.
The futures of both Sanchez and Ozil have been the subject of intense debate this season. Both players will be out of contract at the end of the next campaign as things stand, with neither man so far committing to a new deal.
Sanchez in particular has looked a forlorn figure in recent matches. His reaction to every misplaced pass from a team-mate or every goal conceded is being scrutinised as a possible sign he is unhappy with life at Arsenal.
Goal’s Chris Wheatley shared this snap of Sanchez toward the end of the Gunners’ recent 5-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League:
Sanchez scored Arsenal’s only goal in the game, and manager Arsene Wenger was forced to downplay reports the former Barcelona man had been involved in a dressing room spat with team-mates, according to The Independent: “No. Not at all. Everybody was deeply disappointed but there was no incident in the dressing room.”
Wenger is having to explain Sanchez’s actions and status after every game. The under-fire Frenchman was even forced to defend bringing the Chilean attacker off the substitute’s bench during Arsenal’s 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over non-league Sutton United on Monday night.
Some felt Wenger took too big a risk with his most prolific forward on Sutton’s 3G pitch. The Gunners boss responded by insisting Sanchez could handle the tougher surface, per Jamie Styles of the Daily Star: “He is a guy who has a strong body. I think on this pitch it is the guy who does not have good co-ordination, who is heavy on his feet, who is in trouble. Alexis is more a guy who has very good co-ordination, he is light on his feet. I don’t think it was a risk.”
Ozil wasn’t even in the squad for the trip to Sutton after a dire display in Munich. The languid German’s effort has been questioned, and there have been reports fellow Arsenal players are stunned Wenger continues to pick the club’s record signing, according to the Daily Telegraph (h/t Metro).
The situation with Sanchez and Ozil may be past the point of no return with Arsenal trailing Premier League leaders Chelsea by 10 points and on the brink of elimination from Europe’s premier club competition.
Wenger has plenty of experience having to sell disgruntled star players, with Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie among those who wanted out previously. He may have to move on from at least one of Sanchez or Ozil sooner than he’d like.