Alexis Sanchez appears no closer to agreeing a new contract with Arsenal beyond the end of next season and the uncertainty will only push him closer to the door.
Should the Chilean indicate he has no intention of signing a new deal, the Gunners will have little choice but to sell this summer unless they want to see all of their £35m investment go down the toilet as he leaves as walks away as a free agent in 2018.
It seems to be about more than just the money for Sanchez now. If that is the case and an exit is likely, Arsenal need to come to terms with it fast and think ahead to a future without him.
What Sanchez has given the Gunners, particularly when deployed through the middle earlier this season, is pace up front, the ability to manufacture chances for himself with close control and dribbling skills, and deadly finishing from all kinds of angles and distances.
Arsenal must find a replacement with similar quality who can fill the same kind of role unless they are to start going backwards. For that, read Alexandre Lacazette.
The Lyon forward, heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium last summer and long before, has enjoyed another prolific season in France. His skill set and relatively small frame bare similarities to Sanchez and Arsenal have to go all out to get him this time around.
Lyon were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 this weekend, but Lacazette scored his 23rd league goal of the season in only his 24th appearance. It's an incredible strike rate of 0.96 goals per game, while he has 29 in 34 to his name in all competitions.
Alexandre Lacazette in Ligue 1 this season:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 19, 2017
Another ���� striker on fire. pic.twitter.com/DZeFyD2Tjt
He's consistent, too, having scored 105 goals since the start of 2013/14 alone when he first began to establish himself as a clinical goalscorer. And if there are any doubts as to whether he could replicate that return in the much tougher Premier League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proven that if a player has the quality, the jump from France to England is barely noticeable.
The 25-year-old certainly won't come cheap, though, as Lyon could easily demand £60m for his signature. But the French club, who won't be able to offer Champions League football next season, have shown in the past they are always willing to sell if their valuations are met.
If Arsenal, who themselves may be looking at a Europa League existence if things don't pick up in the next few weeks, can negotiate that price tag even down to £50m, they absolutely need to take the plunge. It's only marginally more than the club record deal that brought Mesut Ozil to north London in 2013 and top strikers don't come cheap - Arsene Wenger is kidding himself if he thinks he can land a player with the quality Arsenal will need at a bargain price.
The cash is there, plus whatever money might come in for Sanchez. Arsenal just have to go for it and make sure Alexandre Lacazette is lining up at the Emirates come August.
There can be no more excuses.
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