After months of telling everyone that Alexis Sanchez was not for sale, before entertaining the prospect of flogging him off to Manchester City in the final week of the summer transfer window, Arsenal opened the door. Arsene Wenger is again insisting that offers for Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will not be considered, but City and others believe that stance to be ‘malleable’.
That is the claim from The Independent, who report that City are preparing a ‘big offer’ for Sanchez in January. Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten since April and have scored just 11 Premier League goals more than anyone else this season, so undoubtedly need the firepower.
The claim is that Guardiola believes City can do a Premier and Champions League double, and wants to ‘press home’ by adding Sanchez to his already impressive forward line. But they know that Arsenal will be determined to hold out for a huge sale if the Chilean is sold: they ‘will still have to pay over £50m’ for Sanchez in January.
In further devastating news to Arsenal’s prospects both this season and in the future, another brilliant forward has been linked with a move away. The Gunners could cope with losing Sanchez, but Theo Walcott too?
According to the NOV, Everton ‘have made enquiries’ with regards to the erstwhile England international. Walcott has started six games this season, but those chances have only come in the Europa League or Carabao Cup. He has played 46 minutes of Premier League football, none since October 1, and has not been part of their last four matchday league squads.
Sam Allardyce wants ‘Premier League quality reinforcements’ at Goodison Park, which begs the question as to why he is interested in Walcott. Although it should be said that Allardyce chose the 28-year-old in his only England squad, and he feels Walcott offers ‘versatility’ and ‘a solution to the lack of pace he inherited’ at the club. Well alright.
SCOUTING FOR GOALS
Over to Manchester United now, and The Sun continue to pretend that clubs ‘sending scouts’ to watch the most highly-rated players in Europe is noteworthy. But hey, it’s a game everyone else plays, so there you go.
Fortunately for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, United chose a good game to watch him in. The 22-year-old scored the equaliser in a 2-1 win over Sampdoria, before playing a crucial role in the winner. Indeed, NOV say Jose Mourinho ‘would have received glowing a report from his scout’. Maybe it was gold-plated.
The bad news is that there are no revelations over a potential price, or even whether United are interested beyond sending people to do what they are paid for. Funny, that.
Lionel Messi turned down wages of £850,000 a week from Manchester City before signing a new deal with Barcelona. The Premier League leaders also offered the 30-year-old Argentina forward an £88m signing bonus… Chelsea have been given a boost with the news that Brazil defender Alex Sandro, 26, wants to leave Juventus… West Ham could revive their interest in 25-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho after making peace with his club following the row over the Hammers’ attempts to sign the Portugal international in the summer… Southampton, Newcastle United and Crystal Palaceare interested in a possible January move for Dundee defender Jack Hendry, 22.