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Gunners close in on Alexis Sanchez deal as Reds hopes fade

Chris Bascombe

Published 04/07/2014 | 02:30

Arsenal and Liverpool look set to battle it out for Barcelona's Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez. Photo: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images
Arsenal and Liverpool look set to battle it out for Barcelona's Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez. Photo: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of fending off interest from Liverpool in Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez, despite representatives of the Chilean striker holding talks with the Anfield club yesterday about his role in a possible part-exchange deal involving Luis Suarez.

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Arsenal are understood to have a deal agreed in principle with Sanchez. Although Barca are eager for him to move to Liverpool to speed up the Suarez negotiations, there is no guarantee that Sanchez will agree to such a switch.

Sanchez could be trying to play Liverpool and Arsenal off against one another but the sense in Spain is still that he favours a move to London. A fee would also have to be agreed with Barcelona and, having bid an initial £22m, Arsenal are likely to have to increase their offer to beyond £25m.

BUDGET

They certainly have the means to do that, with manager Arsene Wenger sitting on a transfer budget of around £100m.

Sanchez's decision is now the only obstacle to Barca concluding a deal for Suarez relatively quickly.

Even if Liverpool fail to secure the Chilean, they are confident they will receive the full sale clause – a fee above £70m – for Suarez.

Arsenal have made inquiries about Newcastle's Mathieu Debuchy, who is keeping Bacary Sagna out of the France team.

Meanwhile, Phil Neville is facing an uncertain future at Manchester United after new manager Louis van Gaal decided against giving him any coaching role at first-team level.

Neville's old boss David Moyes has missed out on a return to management with Galatasaray, despite holding talks with the Turkish club earlier this month.

The job has gone to Cesare Prandelli, who resigned as Italy coach last week. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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