Alexis Sanchez has admitted for the first time that he wants to leave Arsenal in this summer’s transfer window as he wants to play in the Champions League.
The Chile international has been strongly linked with the likes of Manchester City and Bayern Munich this summer, but the Gunners have been firm that they won’t sell.
Recent reports suggested £80million could be enough to tempt them into letting Sanchez go, but it seems highly unlikely that clubs will pay that amount for him as he has just a year left on his contract and could move on a free next summer.
City is thought to be his preferred destination, but while Sanchez didn’t name any club in particular he finally conceded that he wants out of the Emirates Stadium if they’ll let him go.
‘I want to play the Champions League,’ Sanchez told Radio Sport Chile when quizzed over his future at a football tournament in his hometown Tocopilla.
‘The decision does not depend on me, I have to wait for Arsenal.
‘I’ve made my decision, now I wait for Arsenal’s reply. The idea is to play and win the Champions League. I’ve dreamt about it since I was a kid.’
Sanchez has previously only hinted that he wants to leave Arsenal, while Arsene Wenger has recently suggested he’s growing in confidence over keeping the player at the club.
The Frenchman spoke just yesterday about how he was feeling ‘positive’ over the situation, despite no sign of the former Barcelona man signing a new contract.
‘There is not a lot to resolve at the moment with the player,’ Wenger said on Arsenal’s pre-season tour in Australia. ‘I have spoken through text and it was very positive. My thoughts are always positive.’
Still, Arsenal finished outside the top four last season and as such cannot give Sanchez the Champions League football he craves for next season at least.
The South American forward did play his part in helping the north Londoners to silverware, however, as he netted the opener in a 2-1 FA Cup final win over Chelsea in May.
Sanchez generally shone as one of the best attacking players in Europe, scoring 30 goals and contributing 13 assists in all competitions.
Arsenal’s preference has been for Sanchez to move abroad rather than to a Premier League rival, but Wenger has been publicly bullish over the player, suggesting that if he does quit the club it will have to be at the end of his contract.
When asked recently if he planned to keep Sanchez, Wenger responded: ‘Yes, that is a continuation of what I said at the end of the season. That’s what we will do. He adds great value to the squad and I think as well he is a great lover of the club.’
Arsenal are also facing doubts over the futures of Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer, though Hector Bellerin is set to stay after Barcelona ended their interest in the player, while Mesut Ozil has also hinted he wants to remain with the club.