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I wrote this article about Alexis Sanchez and maybe Arsenal being willing or not willing to sell. Well, I got a well thought out response which I rather like, even though I disagree slightly on the inference that Arsenal never really had a good offer from the onset. Enjoy Paul’s view of things:

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It must be nice to know everything. Arsenal should have sold to PSG, they should have sold to Bayern Munich, they should have sold at the beginning of the window, they should have resigned him last year…

Everyone in the world, it seems, except Arsene Wenger knew exactly how to solve the Alexis Sanchez situation. Except none of them knows anything at all about anything at all.

According to reports last year, Arsenal offered Sanchez an extension and he refused to sign. The Chinese had started throwing huge money around, turning Diego Costa’s (among other) head. Smelling a windfall, Sanchez and his advisors decided to wait and Arsenal couldn’t resign him without taking extreme measures. Other teams, in that situation, sit a player (Man U did it to De Gea when he was trying to move to Real Madrid) until he either signs a new deal or can be moved on, but Arsenal have never strong-armed their players that way. So Arsenal didn’t fail to sign Alexis, he refused to sign.

Arsenal should have sold him to PSG. Well, duh? Except they did try but Alexis refuses to sign. Bayern pulled out of negotiations because of Alexis’ salary demands. That suggests he already had an offer, which should not have been possible because Man City had not yet made an offer. At least not to Arsenal. Negotiating secretly with under contract players is against the rules. It happens all the time and it clearly happened with Alexis, because he knew exactly what was on offer from City and wasn’t going to sign for less elsewhere.

Arsenal should have sold Alexis earlier in the window and used the money to invest in another player. Again, duh? Except City did not make a formal offer until late in the window and the rumoured offer earlier was significantly less. Teams knew Alexis was in the last year of his deal and assumed they would sell on the cheap. Only when that didn’t happen did City make a real, fair offer. By then, it was too late for Monaco to replace Lemar. So selling earlier in the window was not possible because Alexis refused moves to teams that made contact early and City never made a concrete, formal offer until Arsenal forced their hand by keeping Sanchez, as the team said they’d do all along.

It may be that Arsenal have lost this game of transfer chicken, but Man City have lost as well. If Alexis is injured, if Man City struggle in the first half of the season, or if Arsenal regain their form and are legitimate challengers in January, the narrative will be completely different. Will City still pay Alexis 335,000 per week if he goes into a sulk and plays like crap for the next four months?

The assumption is, Arsenal will sell on the cheap in January rather than lose Alexis for nothing five months later. Arsenal won’t sell for 20 million in January any more than would sell for 40 million in July. City will have played a high-stakes poker game. Will Alexis wait for five months or will he sign for PSG, in January?

Arsenal fans might also consider that Arsenal were no better with Alexis than they were before he got there. His best season was their worst season.