Alexis Sanchez is not going to get wages like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at Arsenal and a “painful” exit is looking likely, according to ex-Gunner Charlie Nicholas.
Chile international Sanchez has a year left on his contract and is being pursued by Manchester City, with his future still uncertain after playing in the Confederations Cup.
The 28-year-old said last week he has made a decision on his future, but is yet to reveal his intentions, leaving a concerned Nicholas feeling Arsenal must now consider allowing the forward to leave.
Even though Nicholas hopes the club-record signing of Alexandre Lacazette will help, he fears Sanchez is angling for a move.
Asked if Lacazette’s arrival could persuade Sanchez to stay, he told Sky Sports: “I genuinely don’t think so.
“I think Sanchez is completely and utterly his own man. We have seen that with his actions last season.
“He is a winner, a warrior, a fighter, a player we all truly admire and we’d love to keep him but if his heart is on trying to get the same wages as people like Messi and Ronaldo, it’s not going to materialise.
“If they have to sell him it would be harsh, painful with only one year remaining but they may have to consider this.
“Sanchez is in control of the whole situation because the club have been so slow in reacting and sorting this out.
“I have genuinely got bad vibes about Sanchez. It just feels as if he is teasing and tormenting other people to make an offer that Arsenal might have to consider. I hope I am wrong in that.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 6, 2017
Nonetheless, the signing of Lacazette, 26, for a reported £52million fee has gone down well.
Nicholas said: “It is a big statement of intent from Arsenal. The statement is to say to Sanchez and others we are serious to get back challenging for the title and we are serious about getting back into the Champions League again.
“He [Lacazette] is at a prime age now to look to hit the ground running at Arsenal. They should have tried to get him three years ago.
“He will want to try and improve on his own reputation. I really do think he is a perfect fit.”
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