Arsenal target Malcom as they prepare for Sanchez exit

Alexis Sanchez

Forward Alexis Sanchez will leave Arsenal in January if a suitable offer arrives and a replacement is secured.

It is understood the Gunners hierarchy have privately accepted for some weeks that Sanchez is likely to depart after three and a half years at the club.

However, Arsenal are reluctant to sell without replacing the Chilean and their first choice is Bordeaux's 20-year-old Brazilian forward Malcom.

Manchester City is 29-year-old Sanchez's most probable destination.

Conversations have been held between the clubs but there is as yet no agreement on a fee.

Arsenal are thought to have asked for up to £35m, with Premier League leaders City initially suggesting they would pay around £20m. Sources anticipate a compromise of between £25m and £30m.

It is also widely reported that Manchester United will rival City's interest and have already made a bid.

If a deal cannot be agreed, Sanchez will be able to leave when his contract expires in the summer - a situation Arsenal are keen to avoid as they would receive nothing.

The Chile international almost joined City for around £60m on the final day of the summer transfer window, only for the switch to collapse when Arsenal failed to sign Monaco and France midfielder Thomas Lemar.

Sanchez arrived from Barcelona for £35m in 2014 and has scored 80 goals in 166 appearances for the Gunners.

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