Arsenal Must Make Alexis Sanchez Decision As Rivals Prepare Bids

Arsenal will reevaluate whether to sell Alexis Sanchez in January or face seeing him leave for free in the summer as Manchester City prepares to make an offer in the new year, according to reports.

Sanchez's contract at the Emirates Stadium expires in the summer, which means the Chilean forward is free to speak to whichever club he wishes in January and agree a pre-contract agreement.

Pep Guardiola was desperate to sign Sanchez during the summer but saw a deadline day bid rejected by Arsenal after it failed to find a replacement when talks with Monaco over Thomas Lemar broke down.

City will return for Sanchez when the transfer window reopens on January 1, according to The Independent, but it is expected to pay at least £50 million to sign Sanchez this season.

Guardiola, the report says, is unwilling to wait until the end of the season for the 28-year-old forward as he believes City is capable of a league and European Cup double this season.

City leads the Premier League by eight points and has already progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a perfect record so far in Group F. Guardiola's team plays Shakhtar Donetsk in the final game of the group stages on Wednesday (December 6).

Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at Emirates Stadium, London, December 2. Wenger faces a decision to make over the future of Alexis Sanchez. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty

In the league, Guardiola takes his team on the short journey across Manchester to Old Trafford on Sunday (10 November) for what may end up being the biggest game of the season. Should City take all three points from Manchester United it will have a 12 point lead at the top of the Premier League, which many believe will effectively end the title race.

Guardiola believes Sanchez will help make that a certainty. It would not be the first time the Spanish coach has signed Sanchez after he was brought to Barcelona by Guardiola in 2011 from Udinese.

Despite Guardiola's gilded years at Barcelona, the duo only won the Copa del Rey together in what ended up being the coach's final season as manager at the Camp Nou. Sanchez remained for another two years, winning one La Liga title, before becoming Arsenal's record signing in 2014.

Arsenal's position on Sanchez is said to be unchanged as Arsene Wenger requires a replacement before it will allow him to leave. Wenger has consistently insisted both Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, in the same contract situation, will not leave the Emirates in January.

When asked in November whether the pair would still be Arsenal players in February, Wenger said: "Yes, of course. That is what we said many times."

He added: "I do not think every day about that. At the moment I think, as long as they are here, they have to give their best for the team and for the club. In my head, they stay until the end of the season."