Atletico Madrid enter race to sign Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez but need Fifa transfer ban lifted first

Jack de Menezes
Alexis Sanchez is a reported transfer target for Atletico Madrid: Getty

Atletico Madrid have not given up hope of signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, should Fifa choose to lift their transfer embargo this summer, and hope they can tempt the Chile international to move back to Spain as his future in London remains in doubt.

Sanchez spoke about his desire to settle in a city for the rest of his career, and given that he has little more than a year remaining on his current contract, that appears unlikely to be at Arsenal. The 28-year-old admitted that he is happy to see out his contract next season, but that would leave the Premier League club risking their second-most expensive signing walking out the door for free in 2018.

The expectation is that if Arsenal cannot persuade Sanchez into signing a new contract by the end of the season, they will agree to sell him should the right offer come in from a club that is not a Premier League rival. That club could be Atletico, with Spanish newspaper AS claiming that Diego Simeone has not given up hope of signing Sanchez in the summer.

That would, of course, require Fifa to lift the transfer ban that has been imposed on the La Liga club for breaching regulations regarding the signing of young players. Atletico are confident that the ban will be removed for the summer transfer window, which would enable them to proceed with a move for the Arsenal forward.

Sanchez would be an adequate replacement for star striker Antoine Griezmann, with the France international heavily linked with a move away in the summer. The Independent revealed earlier this week that Griezmann is favouring a move to Real Madrid, despite Manchester United’s desire to land the 26-year-old ahead of next season.

Sanchez would cost around €60m if he leaves Arsenal this summer, though Atletico would have no problem to fund such a move if they allow Griezmann to leave as he is expected to generate £85m for the Madrid club due to his contract release clause.

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