Barcelona are reportedly eyeing Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez as a possible replacement for Neymar.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Alexis Sanchez could be set for a sensational return to Barcelona, three years after he departed from Camp Nou for Arsenal. The Catalan club are desperately scouring for candidates to replace Neymar, who has completed his move to PSG.
Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona in the summer of 2014 and his career has been on an upward trajectory ever since. One of the most instrumental figures for the North London club, the player has well and truly established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League in the last three years.
The 2016/17 season was a mixed bag of fortunes for Sanchez. On a personal level, it turned out to be the most productive campaign of his senior career as he bagged 30 goals and 19 assists in 51 appearances in all competitions – a truly phenomenal return.
But in the grand scheme of things, as Arsenal endured a disastrous campaign, Sanchez cut an embattled figure towards the end of the season. The player has less than 12 months remaining on his deal with the club and with little progress over a renewal, a move away from the Emirates could be in the offing.
is alexis sanchez coming back to barcelona? pic.twitter.com/81hnFQyTpm
— Jorge pacheco (@Jorge78815868) August 2, 2017
Widespread reports have linked the Chilean with a shock move to Manchester City, with the Citizens hot in pursuit of the player. The 28-year-old is believed to be keen on a reunion with Pep Guardiola who, despite already having a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, looks set to make a formal offer for him.
However, Arsenal are unlikely to sell Sanchez to a direct rival and therefore, City’s chances of landing him seem to be bleak. This does not necessarily mean that he is set to remain at the Emirates, with Barcelona emerging as late entrants in the race to sign him.
The Catalan club have seen an already disappointing summer transfer window being thrown into further disarray following the departure of Neymar, who has joined PSG. The Brazilian’s departure has suddenly accentuated the Blaugrana’s need to reinforce the attack – their strongest suit for years.
With Barcelona desperately scouring for replacement candidates, Sanchez has been identified as a potential target. The player is already well versed with the demands at the club, having spent three years at Camp Nou and at 28, he can provide the best years of his career to them while being a like for like replacement for Neymar.
Arsene Wenger, though, has remained defiant, insisting that Sanchez will still be an Arsenal player next season. It now remains to be seen if either Manchester City or Barcelona succeed in their attempt to lure the player away from the Emirates or if the Gunners manage to keep hold of their prized asset.