It's obvious which club Alexis Sanchez should join 9 months ago

It's obvious which club Alexis Sanchez should join

So, here's the state of play in the Alexis Sanchez transfer situation.

Sanchez is unlikely to sign a new contract with Arsenal, and can walk away on a free transfer at the end of the season. Manchester City have long been linked with a move for the forward, and had a deadline day bid accepted for him last summer. However, as Arsenal were unable to secure a transfer for Thomas Lemar from Monaco, the deal to take Sanchez to City collapsed.

Pep Guardiola maintains an interest in the Chilean, and wants to sign him this month after Gabriel Jesus was ruled out of action for two months with an injury. City reportedly bid £20m for Sanchez earlier this week, and are waiting to hear back from Arsenal. On Thursday, reports claimed that Manchester United are also interested in the former Barcelona forward, and are prepared to bid £25m for him, as well as match City's wage offer - understood to be in the region of £250,000 a week over five years.

It's unclear at the moment how the situation will develop, but here are the options available to Sanchez.

Stay at Arsenal

This is the most unlikely scenario. According to reports, many of Sanchez's teammate are sick of the player and his "bad attitude" and feel it would be beneficial for the club if they allowed him to leave this month.

The 29-year-old is understood to have had a dressing room argument with some of his Arsenal teammates following their 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor in November. Sanchez scored a last-minute penalty to win the game, but "was told in no uncertain terms that the team were tired of his on-field histrionics; the way he sometimes whirls his arms in frustration when things go wrong."

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Away from dressing room disharmony, Arsenal appear unlikely to meet Sanchez's wage demands, they may not be able to offer him Champions League football next season and there's also uncertainty about Arsene Wenger's position, and how much longer he will be manager. Sanchez appears to have burned his bridges at Arsenal, and if he was going to sign a new deal with the club, he would have done it by now.

Join Manchester United

In theory, this would be a very good move for Sanchez. United can easily match his wage demands, they can (probably) offer him Champions League football next season, and he would be an extremely popular player with the club's supporters. Sanchez would be a worthy United number seven, and could have a similar impact to Robin van Persie at Old Trafford. The Dutch striker left Arsenal for United in 2012, and helped them secure a league title in his first season with the club. Sanchez could be what the club need to challenge for the title next season.

However, in reality, Sanchez arguably wouldn't be an ideal fit for this current United team. He's not the type of player one associates with Jose Mourinho - he's a small, creative player, with a strong individualist streak, while Mourinho values tall, physically strong, functional players who carry out his tactical instructions. Sanchez isn't suited to chasing back Brighton full-backs while United grimly hold onto a one goal lead.

It could also be argued that United fans shouldn't even be excited by the possibility of Sanchez arriving at Old Trafford. Because as long as the club is managed by Mourinho, it ultimately doesn't really matter who they sign. They'll still play for draws away from home against their rivals and they'll still struggle to break down teams who cede them possession. United fans might dispute this, but that's how it is under Mourinho, and players have to conform to how he wants his teams to play. Sanchez, like a lot of creative forwards, would be wasted under Mourinho.

Join Manchester City

The most likely outcome is Sanchez joins City, either this month or in the summer, and it's also the one that makes the most sense for the player. He'll get to work with Pep Guardiola again, who he played under at Barcelona for a year in the 2011/12 season, and will get to win trophies. Guardiola could even find a way to improve Sanchez, as he has with almost every footballer at his disposal this season, despite the player being close to 30. City can also pay Sanchez the wage he wants. It's a no-brainer, Sanchez should join City.