Alexis Sanchez transfer saga: What are Arsenal's options?
Should Arsenal retain Alexis or sell him to Manchester City or Manchester United? Is there another option?
Consistency is one of Arsene Wenger's favourite words. Unfortunately, that rings true with several negative connotations when the north London club does business in the transfer market.
Their inability to convince world class players to extend their contracts has always left the Arsenal squad in a state of flux without the continuity to really challenge for titles.
Ever since the Emirates move, Wenger's project has convinced players to join before they are ultimately disillusioned by the club's reluctance to surround them with equally good - if not better - players.
It was Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, and Robin van Persie in the past. And now, Wenger finds himself in a similar situation with Alexis Sanchez.
So what are his options regarding the wantaway Chilean forward?
#1 Sell him to Manchester City in January?
It's no secret that Manchester City attempted to sign him last summer. With a year left on his contract, Pep Guardiola and co. offered the Gunners £60m last August to bring him to the Etihad.
However, that deal broke down on deadline day when Arsenal failed to sign AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar with a record-breaking bid (reportedly £92m).
Now, again, City approached Arsenal with a bid that was a measly £20m while Arsenal held out for at least £35m. The major stumbling block for City was reportedly Alexis' wage demands which were £250,000 per week.
City seemed to have agreed personal terms with the player but Arsenal haggled over the price, hoping to reach a compromise in the £25m-£30m range - as they are entitled to do.
But as soon as it became apparent that Gabriel Jesus would return sooner than expected, City's interest suddenly cooled off. It was no coincidence.
Do City really need him with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling playing so well, though? Sane (6) has scored almost the same number of goals as Alexis (7) while Sterling has scored twice the number of goals (14) in the league.
Whether Wenger decides to cut his losses and cave in is another matter. Arsenal have money in the bank having spent less than they received last summer. The only question is who he will reinvest that money in now.
City have effectively wrapped up the league so Wenger won't be strengthening a title race rival considering they are already 23 points behind!
A swap deal with the out-of-favour Sergio Aguero, perhaps?