Alexis Sanchez is set to be included in the starting eleven for Arsenal in Wednesday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea despite Manchester City’s £20m offer to sign him.
The Gunners was dealt another blow in Mesut Ozil to an unspecified injury as the midfielder joins Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud on the injury casualty list ahead of the League Cup game at Stamford Bridge.
With the Gunners particularly stretched in defence, coach Arsene Wenger could include the new signing Konstantinos Mavropanos among his substitutes. Although the 20-year-old centre-half just arrived last week from PAS Giannina in Greece and Wenger’s plan was to loan him out.
“He’s not ready to play for us,” the manager said last Wednesday. “We’ll give him out on loan.”
While David Ospina will start against Chelsea — in place of the first-choice goalkeeper Petr Cech — Wenger will otherwise pick his strongest available team, including Sanchez.
City have wanted Sanchez and could sign him on a free by the end of the season, but the two-month injury blow to Gabriel Jesus blow could force City manager to get the deal completed earlier.
With City having opened talks with Arsenal and have indicated a willingness to pay £20m, Sanchez, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona, is now permitted to discuss terms with overseas clubs.
The Manchester club are the frontrunners for his signature despite interest expressed by other top European clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. A contract worth £13m a season until 2023 – or £250,000 a week – is understood to have been offered to Sanchez’s representatives.