Respected Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has claimed that Arsenal have reached a personal agreement with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez.
The 25-year-old has been strongly linked with a move away from the Spanish giants following three years at Camp Nou.
Barcelona have admitted that they have received offers for the Chile international, but have insisted that the former Colo-Colo star is not for sale.
Italian champions Juventus are also keen on signing Sanchez, who played in Serie A for Udinese for three years, while recent reports in Spain have indicated that Atletico Madrid have entered the race for his signature as well (click here to read more).
Liverpool may have thought that they have the upperhand in signing Sanchez, as they could send Luis Suarez the other way.
Barcelona are reported to be interested in signing the Uruguay international striker and have sent officials to England to negotiate a deal.
However, Balague, who works for Sky Sports, has now stated that it is Arsenal who are edging ahead in the race for Sanchez’s prized signature and have reached an agreement with the player.
Message from the FCB camp is that negotiations for Suárez are advanced and going well. Alexis has other offers on the table he's considering— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 2, 2014
I heard Arsenal have a personal agreement with Alexis but offer less to FCB than Liverpool. Juve also interested.— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 2, 2014
Suarez: When a side says its advanced it means agreement in place. LFC might want 2 keep it quiet 2 close other deals but seems pretty close— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 2, 2014
As it stands Alexis not part of the deal for Suárez. But not definitive. Despite personal agreemnt with Arsenal, LFC hope to convince him— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 2, 2014
Balague’s assertion that Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus are all interested in Sanchez is nothing new – this has already been widely reported for the last few weeks.
What is interesting is his comment that the Gunners have reached an agreement with the player.
Although Arsenal are allegedly offering less money to Barcelona than Liverpool, who are also able to sell them Suarez, Sanchez’s desire to move to the North London outfit could eventually be decisive in this transfer saga.