Considering the media hoopla currently surrounding Alexis Sanchez and his future, we looked back to three years ago when he signed for Arsenal from Barcelona. What happened and was there all this fuss then?
Arsenal’s new hope
As Arsenal fans, in 2014, we were paying more attention to the fact that we were buying a highly-rated forward for £31m from Barcelona the year after spending £42.5m on Mesut Ozil.
For the second summer in a row, the club had put their hand in their pocket and signed a genuinely brilliant player.
That was three years ago. And now, with just one year left on his current contract, the Chilean’s future at Arsenal has become one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer.
At first, it looked almost certain that the 28-year-old would sign for Bayern Munich. At the end of the 2016/17 season, it was reportedly his preferred destination since not only could they give him some financial reassurances, they could give him footballing ones as well.
However, the Bundesliga giants were allegedly priced-out of the running by Alexis’ supposed £400k-per-week wage demands.
Next in line was Manchester City. The forward was reportedly keen to reunite with former Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, who had been his coach for his first year in La Liga before Tito Vilanova and then Gerardo Martino took his place.
Arsenal, however, have always stood by the official line that Alexis won’t be sold this summer, whether he pens a new deal or not, and that the Gunners will never, ever, ever sell to a rival… again.
Paris Saint-Germain have also been heavily linked with a £35m move for the Chile international. However, now they’re reportedly close to signing Neymar and parading him through the streets of Paris, which suggests that their apparent interest in Alexis has disappeared like a fart in the wind.
All this noise over a forward that Barcelona willingly sold Arsenal just three years ago, which raises the question: why did the Catalans sell him in the first place?
To understand this, we need to look at why Barca signed him.
Next – Why did Barca sign Alexis?