Antonio Conte wants Alexis Sanchez and feels he could greatly enhance Chelsea’s side for next season, The Independent has been told, as it is becoming increasingly likely that the Premier League champions will test Arsenal’s resolve over their star forward this summer and look to make what would be a sensational cross-London transfer.
The Emirates club are determined not to sell to a Premier League rival if Sanchez does try to push for a move this summer, although it remains to be seen how sustainable that stance is, given that the 28-year-old is out of contract in 2018. Even then, Arsenal’s preference is currently for the Chilean international to stay until his contract runs out, rather than let him go this summer.
It is also why this weekend’s final round of Premier League matches are all the more important for the north London club. Sanchez would actually be perfectly happy to stay at the Emirates, so long as they qualify for the Champions League next season. To do that, they need to beat Everton at home on Sunday, and hope Liverpool slip up at Anfield against Middlesbrough.
Arsenal summer transfer targets
Sanchez is said to greatly love London, and considers the city one of the best places he’s ever lived. He also enjoys the anonymity the size of the city allows, something he knows would not be the same in Manchester, Munich or Turin. That remains one reason why he would be more reluctant to move to one of City, Bayern or Juventus, and why Chelsea could present an even more attractive option if Arsenal do fail to make the Champions League.
Conte meanwhile this summer wants to sign both a striker as well as a forward who can play in the positions just behind the main striker, and a further attraction of Sanchez for the Chelsea boss is that the Chilean can play both roles. The energy in the 28-year-old’s game also completely fits with Conte’s approach.
Arsenal however have not sold to Premier League rival since Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer of 2012, and are intent on not letting that trend restart.