Alexis Sanchez's Arsenal Departure is Imminent—So Where is He Going?

Alexis Sanchez's time at Arsenal is finally up as he looks certain to leave the club within the next 24 hours after Arsene Wenger admitted a move was imminent.

Sanchez's departure from the club looked likely on Sunday (January 14) when he was not named in the squad for Arsenal's 2-1 defeat away to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has long been expected to be reunited with Pep Guardiola, his former coach at Barcelona, with a move to Manchester City appearing inevitable. But a late swoop from Manchester United may change Sanchez's destination.

Asked about Sanchez's absence on Sunday, Wenger defended the forward, insisting he would have featured had he been asked, but suggested the Chlean may have played his final game for Arsenal.

"Alexis would have played," Wenger said after the game. "But it's a difficult period for him. He has always been committed until now but he could have moved yesterday, today or not.

"It will be decided in the next 48 hours. It was a bit difficult for him because he was on stand-by a little bit. That's why I decided not to do it. He did not refuse to play."

Now, it is up to Sanchez to decide his future. Arsenal are more likely to sell to Manchester United after City refused to match the £35 million offered by Jose Mourinho's club.

Selling to United may also see Wenger bring in an immediate replacement. United would reportedly be willing to sell Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal as part of the deal, as the Armenian forward has fallen out of favor under Mourinho.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez at Stamford Bridge, London, January 10. Sanchez's departure from Arsenal is imminent, according to Arsene Wenger. Catherine Ivill/Getty

But Chelsea have also been linked with Sanchez. The low fee for Sanchez would offer a bargain for the West London club but Chelsea's transfer policy of late has been to recruit players in their early 20s, rather than approaching 30.

Asked about the prospect of signing Sanchez on Saturday, following Chelsea's goalless draw with Leicester City, manager Antonio Conte distanced himself from the decision. "This is not my business," the Italian said, deferring to the Chelsea boardroom.

Meanwhile, Arsenal is trying to bring in reinforcements, with Brazilian winger Malcom at the top of the list. Wenger said there was "nothing concrete" for Malcom at the moment, but Bordeaux are expected to want £35 million for him.

"If Sanchez goes we need to replace him," Wenger said. "We have to respond to it."