Thumping Bayern Munich Defeat Convinced Alexis Sanchez to Leave Arsenal

Little over a year ago, Alexis Sanchez brought an end to contract negotiations at Arsenal. He had decided to stay at the Emirates, to commit his future and sign a new contract. There was even a handshake to seal the deal. But then along came Bayern Munich.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal had been drawn against the German giants in the last-16 of the Champions League having finished top of Group A, above Paris Saint-Germain. But Arsenal collapsed twice in the face of Bayern, losing 5-1 in both legs and 10-2 on aggregate. The consequences for Arsenal were even more severe than they would have realized.

Such a humbling saw Sanchez change his mind about extending his deal at the Emirates Stadium and decided he wanted to be reunited with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, according to The Times.

City made attempts to sign Sanchez in the summer but Arsenal reportedly rejected all offers from Guardiola's team. Wenger has insisted the Chilean forward, as well as Mesut Ozil, whose deal also ends in the summer, will remain in north London for the rest of his contract.

Despite City being able to bring Sanchez to the Etihad Stadium for free in the summer, it is believed that Guardiola wants his club to make an attempt to sign him in January. The addition of Sanchez, Guardiola believes, will allow City to potentially win all four competitions they are involved in this season.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium, London, December 22. Sanchez had reportedly agreed to extend his deal at Arsenal and then changed his mind. Catherine Ivill/Getty

City are 11 points ahead of Manchester United in the Premier League and set a new record last weekend for consecutive wins by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-1. They are through to the semifinal of the League Cup, where they will face Championship club Bristol City in January.

Guardiola's team has been drawn against Sean Dyche's Burnley in the third round of the FA Cup, and City's impeccable Champions League campaign so far will see them face FC Basel in the last 16 in February.

The prospect of City being strengthened even further by the addition of Sanchez, Arsenal's best player, will cause concern for the rest of the Premier League. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has already issued a warning.

"Every team, every club, must pay great attention because if a club like Manchester City takes all the best players, it will be very difficult for us to fight," Conte said. "Not only in England but in Europe." The problem for Arsenal, however, is that they have little choice.