Odds on Alexis Sanchez to remain with Arsenal have been cut after Arsene Wenger insisted he would not be sold to a rival, and that he would rather he go on a Bosman free transfer.
The Chilean star has just over 12-month left on his previous contract and talks over a new deal have been postponed.
Manchester City and Chelsea are very keen to land the 28-year-old and are ready to make sizeable offers for the player, and believed Arsenal would sell – as they have done previously with the likes of Cesc Fabregas Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri.
But Wenger is standing his ground and insists that Arsenal are not desperate to cash in.
“If he doesn’t sign a new deal, will I make him stay? Yes,” said Wenger
“Would I rather keep him than sell him to a Premier League rival? Yes. I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure.
“The question is why would you sell him to another Premier League club? You want to be as strong as you can be and not strengthen the other teams.
“I think he will sign and stay because, first of all, he is happy here. His desire is to stay. That is what I deeply believe. “The disagreements are purely contractual, not on the desire. Both parties have the desire to find an agreement, so I think it will happen.”
Our Football Insider Graeme Bailey believes that both Man City and Chelsea have been getting encouragement to pursue Sanchez from the player’s camp.
“It is no secret that Sanchez’s representatives are reaching out to other clubs, and both City and Chelsea are very keen on landing the 28-year-old.
“I know that Italian giants Juventus are also keen and will rival anyone for a bid, so I still believe that Sanchez could very well get the move, it looks like he wants.”
We spoke with BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt about the market around Sanchez.
“Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez is another man in constant demand and its looking increasingly unlikely the Gunners will be able to hold on to the Chilean international,” he told TheGamblingTimes.com.
“We have seen a number of clubs backed to secure his signature with Manchester City our current 3/1 favourites after opening at 16/1. All the major top teams are linked in the media and Bayern Munich have been popular recently and seem their price halve to 8/1 from 16/1.
“Bookmakers will be hoping the speculation continues and many more clubs are linked as this potentially could be one of the most exciting transfers of the summer.