Barcelona have reiterated that they have received offers for Alexis Sanchez, but have insisted that he is not for sale.
Goal.com quotes the club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu as saying: ‘I can confirm we have received offers from several clubs for Alexis Sanchez... He's a player there in the market that people have got an eye on, but he's our player for the moment and he's a basic member of the way our team plays... He's a player we would like to have with us next season’.
So that’s it then? Sanchez is not for sale and the interested clubs should look elsewhere for attacking players?
No, it isn’t. It is in Barcelona’s interest to repeat that they have received offers and insist that he is not for sale. That way, his market value will not go down and clubs will have to increase their offers to sign him.
If Barcelona were to publicly state that Sanchez is for sale, then no club would be willing to pay what they want, which is reportedly €30 million (£24m).
Manchester United were initially linked with a move for the Chile international, but those rumours have died down.
And now, according to AS, Atletico Madrid have entered the race to secure the services of one of the best and most powerful attacking players in the world who had a very good 2014 World Cup campaign (on a personal level at least).
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Atletico may have won La Liga and reached the final of the Champions League last season, but it would still come as a surprise to many as to why Sanchez would move to Los Rojiblancos.
After all, the Madrid outfit will lose star striker Diego Costa to Chelsea and possibly even Filipe Luis and Tiago – three players integral to the team. Moreover, they will not be able to pay the wages that the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool could.
However, according to the report, Atletico will use the Diego Simeone factor in trying to lure Sanchez. The Argentine boss worked with the Chilean when he was in charge of River Plate and could persuade him to swap Barca for Atleti.
Sanchez apparently does not feel appreciated enough at Barcelona, and Simeone knows how to make players feel loved and get the best out of them.
Moreover, if Sanchez chooses Atletico over other clubs, then he will be playing in a league which he knows inside out and will go straight into the Champions League. The former Colo-Colo star will not even have to move to a different country.
However, the problem with Atletico, as with other clubs in Spain who are not Barcelona and Real Madrid, is the transfer fee. Goal.com claims that Arsenal are willing to offer £32m to Barcelona, while reports in Italy suggest that Juventus are unwilling to splash out as much as the Catalan club want.
Barcelona reportedly want €30m and Atletico cannot afford that. Moreover, the former Spanish champions could use the forward as a bargaining chip in order to sign striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool.
And then there is also the fact that Barcelona may not like to sell Sanchez to a direct rival for the La Liga title.
All these factors are against Atletico, but the report suggests that they will continue to negotiate with Barcelona.
Whether those talks eventually come to fruition or not, only time will tell.