Transfer news and rumours: Alexis Sanchez on Arsenal talks, Chelsea want Marco Verratti, Manchester United latest

A round-up of the biggest transfer speculation on Saturday 17 December

Jack de Menezes
Saturday 17 December 2016 14:12
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Alexis Sanchez has revealed that his Arsenal future lies with the club and what they offer him
Alexis Sanchez has revealed that his Arsenal future lies with the club and what they offer him

Alexis Sanchez has put pressure on Arsenal to come up with the right contract offer in order to secure his future after admitting that the prospect of him signing a new deal is solely dependent on the club meeting his demands.

The Arsenal striker has starred this season and led the Premier League goalscoring charts alongside Diego Costa of Chelsea on 12 goals heading into the weekend's fixtures, but talks over his future have overshadowed his excellent start to the season and there is a fear at the Emirates that the 27-year-old could seek a move away from the club if negotiations fail to reach a successful conclusion.

Sanchez has 18 months left on his contract and will be free to discuss a move away from the club if he does not sign a new deal by January 2018, which could force Arsenal into selling the Chile international at the end of the current season so to not lose him on a free transfer.

Now he has spoken out about his future, and confirmed that the ball is in Arsenal’s court for them to meet his reported £250,000-a-week wage demands.

"It really doesn't depend on me [but] if they want to show confidence in me," Sanchez told Sky Sports.

Chelsea meanwhile are being linked with a January move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. The Daily Mail claims that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wants to reunite with the 24-year-old midfielder after working with him during his reign as Italy national coach.

It’s added that Chelsea are confident that they can secure the signing of the highly-rated midfielder for less than £40m, despite Verratti being contract to PSG until 2021, but the Parisians are likely to hold out for as much as possible if they were to let one of their prized assets leave the club after five seasons.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has been tasked with negotiating a move for Verratti, whose agent, Donato Di Campli, reportedly told interested clubs that the midfielder is open to a move if PSG fail to win silverware this season. The reigning Ligue 1 champions are currently third in the table, four points behind leaders Nice.

Chelsea are also said to be watching Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko as a target to replace China-bound Oscar, with the Brazil international set to complete a £52m move to Shanghai SIPG in January.

French under-21 international Bakayoko is said to have been watched at least a dozen times by Chelsea scout Guy Hillion, according to The Times, and it’s believed that he would be available for under £40m – with the sale of Oscar more than enough to finance any move. Chelsea announced on Friday night that they had posted a loss of £70.6m, but that fee is largely offset by the £40m the club paid to terminate their kit deal with Adidas early.

Conte confirmed on Friday that he expects Oscar to leave, but the Italian manager is believed to want a more athletic and physical replacement to meet the demands of the Premier league and Bakayoko meets that criteria.

Chelsea are being linked with PSG midfielder Marco Verratti

One player who could leave Stamford Bridge is striker Michy Batshuayi, with The Sun reporting that West Ham are interested in a loan deal until the end of the season for the out-of-favour Belgian. Batshuayi has not made a single Premier League start this season, and scored just once in his nine appearances from the substitutes’ bench. The Hammers were interested in signing Batshuayi when the 23-year-old left Marseille in the summer, but were not able to match Chelsea’s offer and missed out as a result.


Finally, Memphis Depay looks to be on his way to Goodison Park after the Manchester Evening News reported that a deal is close to being complete, with Morgan Schneiderlin also believed to be on his way out of Manchester United to head to Everton.

It’s believed that Jose Mourinho left them out of last week’s Europa League trip to Zorya Ludansk in order to ensure they are not injured when the January transfer window opens, and both will complete permanent moves to Everton after being told they do not have a future with United.

Memphis Depay appears to be on his way to Everton 

Schneiderlin is keen to link up with his former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, while the Dutchman also confirmed his liking of Depay with talks well underway over a move.

"He’s a young player with individual qualities, like aggression and efficiency," Koeman said. "I would like him in January. He is a good and interesting player. He has shown that in his early days at Manchester United. But more recently it’s been less. He needs to play more games."

Depay is set to be a direct replacement for summer signing Yannick Bolasie, with the former Crystal Palace winger ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

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