Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn says he fears for his old club should Alexis Sanchez leave in the coming days.

After spending the whole summer refusing to sell Alexis to anybody, it seems they’re now open to negotiations. The morning was dominated by rumours of Arsenal suggesting a swap deal with Manchester City involving either Sergio Aguero or Raheem Sterling.

Provided the rumours are true, it represents a significant change in Arsenal’s stance, and suggests they’re willing to explore their options now. Nigel Winterburn, though, fears what could happen if Arsenal do lose Alexis.

“There just seems to be so much uncertainty around Arsenal at the moment,” Winterburn told Sky Sports. “We got Wenger re-signed. Let’s look at a different way going forward, see if was can change something. Now I’m sitting here thinking after the weekend: ‘what the heck is going on?’

“If Sanchez goes as well, I’d hate to see what the atmosphere would be like in the stadium on matchday. Last season it wasn’t pleasant. Travelling home on Sunday wasn’t pleasant. To think it could get a whole lot worse before it gets better is quite fearful and upsetting.”

It wouldn’t have taken much to upset the Arsenal fans after a summer that promised much but delivered so little. Two new players arrived, but that was the end of our business. Meanwhile, contract disputes involving Chamberlain, Ozil and Alexis continued.

On the pitch, things started off with a thrilling late win over Leicester, but the defeat to Stoke exposed some worrying vulnerabilities. Liverpool exposed them last Sunday and now everything seems to be falling apart before we’re even in September.

These next few days are crucial. If Alexis leaves and no replacement is brought in, and it contributes to more poor results, the Emirates is not going to be a happy place at all. Without the home fans on their side, the team is going to find it very difficult to get back into the top four.