It appears Arsenal may have found a solution to saving some face when it comes to Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean forward, 28, has just over six months to run on his current Arsenal deal and it doesn’t seem likely that he will sign a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
With that in mind, a report from the Daily Star suggests that the Gunners are lining up a swap deal with Paris Saint-Germain for their German attacking midfielder Julian Draxler in January.
Draxler, 24, has been a long-term target for Arsenal and although impressing for the German national team in recent years (he captained a young side to Confederations Cup success over the summer) the Schalke product has found it tough to break through at PSG with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani now on board.
The only problem with this deal is that from January 1 onwards Sanchez can speak to any non-English club about a free transfer on July 1 and he can arrange a move himself. That means that if he wanted to join PSG he could agree a deal for the summer, play out the season at Arsenal and then join the French giants on July 1 with a huge signing-on bonus.
But if, as expected, Sanchez wants to go to Manchester City he will have to wait until July 1 before he can negotiate a move to the Etihad Stadium and join up with Pep Guardiola. The thing is, he will be quite free this summer to do that as Chile failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Arsenal are said to not want Sanchez to join a Premier League rival in Man City (despite accepting a $70 million bid late on Transfer Deadline Day in the summer) but even if they did sell him in January they’d do well to get around $35 million for the former Barcelona star.
When it comes to Draxler, the report states that Bayern Munich also want the midfield and although his numbers in terms of goals and assists aren’t as impressive as Sanchez’s, he does have more power and pace than most of Arsenal’s other current midfield options, as well as possessing the poise to create chances and possess the ball. He seems every bit an Arsenal player.
PSG using Draxler as the bait to try and entice Arsenal to not ask for any cash in January is all about one thing: stopping Sanchez from joining Man City in July. When you think about it, this deal would work out best for PSG and Arsenal with the Gunners picking up an international caliber attacker four years younger than Sanchez and PSG getting yet another star forward without spending a penny on him.