Football Whispers take a look out how the Gunners can actually benefit from finally allowing the star Chilean to walk away
AS Neymar and Edinson Cavani squabbled over who would take Paris Saint-Germain’s penalty against Lyon it was clear the town wasn’t big enough for both of them.
The Brazilian traded Barcelona for PSG to escape the shadow of Lionel Messi and boost his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.
At Barca that was impossible, but if he leads PSG to the Champions League the world’s most expensive player would be recognised as the world’s best player.
That appealed to Neymar, but what wasn’t part of the bargain was fighting Cavani for the limelight.
Neymar reportedly told PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi to sell the Uruguayan forward in light of their penalty bust-up.
If the 30-year-old is to leave the Parc des Princes, could Arsenal swoop? After all, the Gunners have something PSG want: Alexis Sanchez.
Our friends at Football Whispers explore the possibility of a swap deal.
At the start of the summer PSG had a shortlist which included Neymar, Sanchez and Kylian Mbappe.
Having missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Monaco and been dumped out of the Champions League in the last-16 by Barcelona, Al-Khelaifi was unimpressed.
Paris’ progress in Europe’s elite competition has not been good enough for the club’s ambitious owner.
Significant improvement was needed and he intended to arm coach Unai Emery with the tools to mount a proper assault this time around.
A move for Sanchez did not come off, though. No matter, PSG instead broke the record for the world’s most expensive player by meeting Neymar’s €222m release clause at Barca.
And just for good measure they snapped up Manchester City transfer target Mbappe on loan, committing to pay €180m next summer to sign the teenage sensation on a permanent basis.
PSG’s ambition is limitless. But the Parisians’ history is less impressive and the easiest way to bridge that shortfall is to continue collecting the world’s best players.
That is where Sanchez comes in.
The Chilean was subject of PSG transfer rumours throughout the summer but the Gunners are reluctant to lose the forward, even though he has made it clear he will not sign an extension to his contract which runs out next summer.
If Arsene Wenger could tempt PSG into a swap deal for Cavani he would be offloading a player who is clearly desperate to leave the Emirates but with the kicker of getting a top-drawer replacement.
The Uruguayan forward, who netted 35 times in Ligue 1 last season, would be the ideal replacement and could fill in any of the roles Sanchez currently occupies.
However, there is one big stumbling block. In January, Sanchez will have six months to run on his contract.
Assuming nothing changes in that period, he will be free to enter into negotiations with clubs outside of England for next season.
The former Barcelona and Udinese wideman won’t be short of offers and it would be surprise if PSG are not somewhere near the head of the queue.
Sanchez now holds all of the cards and despite Wenger’s defiance, he will surely be privately seething at the prospect of losing his best player for nothing.
Trading the South American for Cavani would represent a good deal for both parties. But the French outfit will reason theirs is the more valuable commodity.
Even though Cavani is two years Sanchez’s senior, he is under contract at the Parc des Princes until the summer of 2020.
The most Arsenal can expect to get for their biggest asset is £40m – and only if someone is desperate to sign the wantaway forward in January.
If Arsenal want to make a move for the former Napoli hitman PSG will be well within their rights to demand a fee on top of taking Sanchez – something Wenger is unlikely to be prepared to do.
Not for the first time, the Gunners will pay for their manager’s stubbornness.
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