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Alexis Sanchez's family arrive in London in preparation for Arsenal exit

13:29 GMT 13/01/2018
Alexis Sanchez
The Chilean's family are in London and sources close to the player believe that a January move is close to happening

Alexis Sanchez’s family have arrived in London in preparation for the Chilean’s departure from Arsenal, Goal has learned.

The 29-year-old is subject of a transfer tussle between Manchester City and Manchester United this month, although it’s understood that the former Barcelona man has his heart set on a move to the Etihad Stadium, where he will link up with his old coach Pep Guardiola.

Arsenal are demanding a fee of £35m for Sanchez while the player's agent Fernando Felicevich, previously dubbed ‘the king of South American football’ by Forbes magazine, is requesting a fee of £5m for facilitating the transfer.

City have made it known that they are unwilling to meet Felicevich's personal demands, believing the total package requested by the agent and Arsenal does not represent value for money.

But Goal understands that while the club insist they are willing to walk away from a deal this month, potentially leaving United with a clear run, the Blues would rather find an agreement that suits all parties and sign the Chilean before the transfer window closes.

Sanchez’s older brother Humberto arrived at Heathrow Airport on Saturday with a number of family members in preparation for the player’s departure from Arsenal.

It's understood that the two-time FA Cup winner wants his closest family to be alongside him for when his exit from the Gunners is confirmed this month.

“It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract,” Arsenal boss Wenger told reporters in the embargoed section of Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“But we want to keep Jack [Wilshere] and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep [Mesut] Ozil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all the three left.”

Goal understands that Bordeaux starlet Malcom tops Wenger’s wishlist as a replacement for Sanchez, while Thomas Lemar – who came close to joining the Gunners on transfer deadline day last summer – remains another target.

Contrary to reports, the French side own 100 per cent of the player's rights and there is no third party ownership involved in any potential deal.

Malcom’s representatives were in London meeting with Arsenal officials on Friday and it's understood that the club will sanction the sale of Sanchez to City once they secure a replacement.