His World Cup dream may have ended on Saturday, but the summer might just be beginning for Alexis Sánchez. The forward missed a penalty in the shootout with Brazil, one of three Chile players to do so, meaning he’s now on his way home. But rumor has it that things are just starting to heat up for Sánchez.
Barcelona paid €26m ($35.5m) for Sánchez in summer 2011, after the young forward had helped Italian side Udinese secure a Champions League spot. Udinese went on to quickly crash out of the tournament, while Barcelona kept their new investment on the bench much of the time. He finally found more playing time last season, but it seems his club are still prepared to let him leave.
Which is surprising, considering just how much Sánchez impressed in four games at the World Cup – although that will, of course, be a factor in the amount Barcelona are able to extract from interested parties. And yes, there is definite interest in the forward.
Liverpool and Arsenal are meant to be leading the race to sign the 25-year-old. The Reds interest may come as a surprise, considering they scored 101 goals last season, but of course they’re going to need to replace the 31 scored by Luis Suárez, whose ban will extend much further into the season this time around.
Arsenal, who scored just 68 goals last season, finishing fourth once again, would seem to have a bigger need for another attacking threat. But while the Gunners were willing to break the bank for Mesut Özil last summer, that’s not usually the way Arsène Wenger operates. Is this really a likely move?
Even if both Liverpool and Arsenal do decide to pursue Sánchez, they’ll have to outbid Manchester United, who seem intent on rebuilding their side, to the point where money just may not be a factor. And, of course, there’s Juventus, who’ve been keen on Sánchez since his Udinese days. Juve are also not normally ones to break the bank, but if an unbeatable offer comes in for either Paul Pogba or Sánchez’s compatriot Arturo Vidal, they could have money to spend.
Where do you think Alexis Sánchez will be playing next season?