Alexis Sanchez: Wenger to step in as Arsenal bid to beat Liverpool to Barca ace

The Gunners have submitted an offer for the Chile star that matches Barcelona's valuation but must now convince the forward to choose them over his other suitors
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Arsenal have tabled a £32 million bid for Alexis Sanchez as Arsene Wenger prepares a charm offensive to land the Chile World Cup star ahead of rivals Liverpool, Goal can reveal.

The Gunners boss will meet Sanchez's agent in Brazil this week to convince the forward that he should move to the Londoners ahead of the other clubs competing for his signature.

Liverpool are set to request Sanchez as part of a possible part-exchange deal that could take Luis Suarez to Barcelona, while Manchester United and Juventus also have a strong interest in signing the Chilean.

Goal revealed last Saturday that Arsenal were preparing a bid that matched the Catalan club's £32m valuation of Sanchez after making him their No.1 forward target for this window.

The Gunners have now made their move and are confident the transfer fee and structure of payments they have proposed to Barca will be accepted by the Spanish giants.

Wenger will now attempt to convince Sanchez, whose World Cup ended last Saturday when Chile were eliminated on penalties by Brazil, that he should choose Arsenal ahead of his other suitors.

Barca's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta admitted on Tuesday that the Spanish giants are willing to cash in on the 25-year-old this summer and hinted strongly at a concerted push for Suarez. It was widely reported that a Barcelona delegation were to meet with Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre in London on Wednesday for an opening round of talks over signing the striker.

Sanchez, 25, is a player in demand after a series of outstanding World Cup displays and a season in which his 21 goals were bettered at Barcelona only by Lionel Messi.

Goal revealed in May that Arsenal had sent a delegation to Madrid to hold talks with a mystery forward, who is now understood to have been Sanchez.

The Gunners have now stepped up their efforts to sign Sanchez and the seriousness of their pursuit is demonstrated by the fact that both chief executive Ivan Gazidis and contract negotiator Dicky Law were involved in the negotiations in Madrid.

Wenger and his scouts believe Sanchez has the attributes to be developed into a centre-forward at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners' top priority this summer is to clinch the signing of an elite forward who can provide competition next season for Olivier Giroud, the only senior striker at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal tried to sign Julian Draxler in a £30m deal in January and failed with moves for Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Wayne Rooney last summer as well as a last-ditch loan bid for Demba Ba.