After weeks of speculation and rumors, Manchester City finally listened to Pep Guardiola and made an offer to Arsenal for want-away Gunners superstar Alexis Sánchez on Tuesday. As expected, this has not been a simple negotiation, and things have gone wild during a truly crazy day.
What we’ll attempt to do here is compile all the relevant information about the Alexis story and explain just what each step means. Please be patient, because this gets crazy. To help you a little, there are a lot of tweets, because we all love Twitter!
The first report of an offer from City on Tuesday came from John Cross of the Mirror, a respected journalist and famous Arsenal fan with many contacts within the club.
BREAKING: Man City have made a player-plus-cash offer for Alexis Sanchez involving Raheem Sterling. More on @MirrorFootball— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) August 29, 2017
City offering Raheem Sterling plus money? Well, that seems crazy given Pep is a big fan of Sterling, but Sky added to Cross’ report with their own sources. Sky sources are very hit-and-miss, but they’re right sometimes.
It was still hard to believe City would offer Sterling, and then we found out from two other respected journalists that it was ARSENAL who proposed Sterling, not City.
Arsenal proposed including Raheem Sterling in a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez. Man City want cash-only deal for Sanchez.— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) August 29, 2017
Finally! City & Arsenal in talks for Sanchez. It's Arsenal who've mooted idea of Sterling. AS thinks he'll join City https://t.co/KjJU7NwXkS— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) August 29, 2017
Sam Lee also says that Fabian Delph was thrown into the mix as a possible player going to Arsenal along with some cash, but it’s hard to see Arsene Wenger accepting Delph given he wants Sterling.
Delph's name has also come up, though personally I can't see it. Normal kind of thing. Aguero doesn't want to go even if Arsenal want him— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) August 29, 2017
Meanwhile, with the negotiations effectively underway, Alexis Sánchez looked pretty confident that he’ll be a Blue by the end of the week.
Alexis & Co. telling people he'll sign for City this week. Up to City to reach deal with Arsenal. Could be just cash [w/ @ChrisWheatley_ ]— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) August 29, 2017
So a few hours went by during the day without any real updates. Sergio Agüero’s name came up but instantly shot down by City, who then made a formal £50 million bid.
Arsenal said no.
City have had a £50m bid rejected for Alexis Sanchez. Talks ongoing. They're still confident they'll reach an agreement before Thursday.— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) August 29, 2017
Arsenal rejected a £50million bid from #mcfc for Alexis Sanchez today.— Jack Gaughan (@Jack_Gaughan) August 29, 2017
Arsenal then informed some journalists with good contacts that their stance is they will not accept any offers from City — unless it’s something “huge”.
So Arsenal ARE open to selling Alexis. It’s not like they simply won’t even listen to offers, like Liverpool have done with Barcelona in the Philippe Coutinho saga, but they will sell if the right offer comes in, as Goal’s Sam Lee points out.
Arsenal's *public* stance has also clearly shifted from 'not for sale' to 'for sale if we get a good offer'.— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) August 29, 2017
Then Simon Stone from the BBC asks a really interesting question: what do Arsenal see as a huge offer?
As colleague @bbcsport_david says, would take 'huge offer'. Subjective word. What do Arsenal think is huge?— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) August 29, 2017
Given they’ve rejected a £50 million bid and Alexis only has 11 months left in his contract, Arsenal cannot get everything they want. Maybe a £70 million bid is enough to convince them? Apparently City will improve their offer over the next few hours, but it’ll be cash-only.
Manchester City will make an improved cash-only offer for Alexis Sanchez in the next 48 hours and are determined to sign him. [Sky Sports]— City Watch (@City_Watch) August 29, 2017
But something might help City: the fact that Arsenal players are completely fed up with the situation and want Alexis sold before the end of this window:
It’s unlikely this will be resolved until Deadline Day, so expect many more updates to this crazy saga for the next two days. And we’ll have them all for you.