Reports: Arsenal to trigger €31m release clause of Argentinian star in the 'next few hours'
Alexis Sanchez's departure to Manchester City could arrive sooner rather than later
What's the story?
Arsenal are preparing for Alexis Sanchez' departure by triggering the release clause of Boca Juniors star Cristian Pavon, according to a report in the Independent, as well as reports in Argentinian TV station, TyC Sports.
The Gunners were hoping to knock down the price of Pavon by waiting, but it seems that their hand has been forced by Sanchez' insistence on joining Manchester City at the earliest. Pavon has a rather large release clause of €31 million, but Arsenal are willing to meet it as they consider the 21-year-old quite a promising prospect.
It's a notable change in recent strategy for Arsenal, who spent money on players in their peak ages such as Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette - but seem to be signing promising 20/21-year-olds after the arrival of Sven Mislintat as Arsenal's Head of Recruitment from Borussia Dortmund.
In case you didn't know...
Having spent his youth career with CA Talleres from the Argentinian city of Cordoba, Pavon signed for giants Boca Juniors in 2014, at the age of 18. A loan move to CA Colon followed - before the youngster came back to Boca in January 2015. He's been impressive in the Argentinian Primera Division ever since, gradually becoming a regular in the first team with a string of impressive performances.
The heart of the matter
Pavon has played 60 times in total for Boca Juniors, being involved in 31 goals (17 goals, 14 assists) so far. However, it's been his start to the 2017/18 season that has impressed - with Pavon racking up 6 assists and 3 goals in just 12 appearances. A call up to the Argentinian National Team in friendlies against Nigeria and Russia followed, with Pavon setting up Sergio Aguero for goals in both games.
Boca are naturally unwilling to let Pavon depart, as they view that the player's price could rise following the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to which he is likely to be called up. Arsenal, however, are unwilling to wait, and television reports claim Boca will receive the offer from the Gunners in the next few hours.
Boca are reportedly likely to use the money on signing Carlos Tevez as well as Julio Buffarini and Emanuel Mas.
Plenty of Arsenal fans will be glad to see Alexis Sanchez leave, given his uninterested performances for the majority of the season, but it no doubt leaves a major gap in quality in the squad, especially if Arsenal are to stand any chance of making the spots for the UEFA Champions League. €31 million will not get you top-tier talent in the transfer market these days, and given Pavon's explosive nature, perhaps Arsenal are better off betting on the younger, hungrier South American.