The first whispers have started to collect into fully-fledged rumours around the future of Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez. Italian transfer site CalcioMercato are the latest outlet to report on interest in the players services.
Currently playing as a striker to great effect alongside Theo Walcott, the Italian press note that Sanchez’s contract runs out in the summer of 2018, and name Manchester City and Juventus as possible destinations. While that still seems a long way off, in reality it means just 15 months until Sanchez is free to start discussing terms with other clubs for a free transfer.
It is very unlikely to get that far, but Arsenal must act now if they want to secure the services of the former Barcelona man for the foreseeable future. Rumours about his departure, regardless of their accuracy, will only destabilise the team.
The Chilean put in another match-winning performance against Chelsea on Saturday, and every week he performs like this means more interest from other clubs, and more leverage for the player in contract talks.
If Arsenal continue to let this story grow, it could become a major issue just as the season reaches its climax in the spring.