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According to a report in the Express, Arsenal have made contact with Real Madrid and offered the Spanish giants a sensational swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez and Karim Benzema.
As you’ll all know by now, Sanchez is in the final year of his contract and our attempts to tie him down to a new extension have so far proven unsuccessful.
Arsene Wenger insists the Chilean international won’t be sold even if he doesn’t sign a new deal but the Telegraph claim Sanchez could yet try and force a move to Manchester City with Pep Guardiola set to launch a £60m bid before the end of the month.
That’s a tempting amount of money for a player who’ll conceivably walk away for nothing next summer but it would be heart-wrenching to see Alexis join City, either now or on a free next year, so it looks as though Wenger has come up with a plan to prevent him from doing so.
The Express are citing a report from Don Balon that claims Arsenal have been in touch with Madrid and offered them a swap deal involving Sanchez and Benzema.
The French international has long been linked with a move to the Emirates as Wenger is a huge fan and Benzema’s future at the Bernabeu has been called in to question in recent weeks.
Madrid are among the front-runners to sign Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe so his arrival could see Benzema drop out of favour and it looks like Wenger is hoping to take advantage.
Calciomercato reported late last month that Madrid would be willing to sell Benzema for £62m if they signed Mbappe so it looked like a reasonable swap deal considering City are reportedly willing to pay around £60m for Alexis.
However, it seems Madrid may have had a change of heart as Don Balon [via the Express] now claim Benzema is not for sale so the European champions have rejected Arsenal’s swap deal offer.
It seems increasingly clear that Sanchez isn’t going to sign a new deal at Arsenal so our options are to either sell him to City for £60m now or watch him join them for nothing next summer.
Both options are a disaster to be honest so I would have been all for a swap deal involving Benzema with Sanchez joining Madrid but it looks like it’s a non-starter.
If I was Wenger, I’d be doing my best to find a buyer for Sanchez on the continent as it’s pointless allowing him to join City for nothing in 12 months time.