Arsenal will reportedly block Alexis Sanchez joining another Premier League club if the forward decides to leave the Emirates this summer.
Questions have been asked over the Chilean’s future at the club after reports suggested that he and manager Arsene Wenger had a number of heated arguments over the player’s training ethic and attitude.
The 28-year-old was left on the bench for the Gunners’ 3-1 loss to Liverpool, and while Wenger claims the decision was for tactical reasons, it is believed that the training ground bust-up was why Sanchez was dropped.
It is believed the episode has left Sanchez keen for a move away from Arsenal, with Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea both interested, while some sources have credited Manchester United with a shock move.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Arsenal officials will tell the Chilean that they will only sanction a move to a foreign team, rather than a league rival.
The news will place Paris-Saint Germain, Atletico Madrid and Juventus on high alert, with the trio all keen on the forward.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea star Frank Lampard has insisted Arsenal can’t finish in the top four without Sanchez.
“What I find difficult for Arsene Wenger here is that he’s not in a real position of strength at the minute,” said Lampard on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“He’s been taking some criticism himself and the team. When you’ve got your star man and you try and discipline him and you go to Liverpool which was a massive game for them and you leave him out… if you leave him out and Arsenal win you’ve got to go with that team.
“But can that Arsenal team without him finish in the top four? I’m not sure they can. If you lose, as they did, then you’ve got a real problem too. I don’t think they’ve got a particularly strong dressing room.”
Lampard was joined by Jamie Carragher on the show, and the former Liverpool defender has his say on the matter, declaring that he doesn’t believe Wenger’s explanation for dropping Sanchez.
“I don’t believe Arsene Wenger for a minute but I totally understand why a manager would say that to protect the player and to protect the club,’ he said.
“There’s been a lot of stuff about Sanchez in the last few weeks. His demeanour on the pitch and his reaction when he comes off which hasn’t been great.
“But I did find it strange because I think when you’re disciplining a player you either completely put him out of the squad. If he is a problem and he’s not great around the place you make that decision.
“You don’t want him on the coach or travelling on the plane or in the dressing room or in the hotel. You’d completely banish him. So all he’s basically done is miss 45 minutes of football and the fact he was on the bench heightens the story even more.”