With less than six months remaining on his current Arsenal deal, Alexis Sanchez looks to be heading toward the exit at The Emirates.
There has been a sense of inevitability about his departure for a while now, particularly with his contract situation being public knowledge.
To lose a player of Sanchez's ability for nothing is obviously a blow for The Gunners, but their decision not to sell him in the summer to Manchester City has been somewhat justified.
Arsenal want a replacement before sanctioning any sale
Sanchez is currently Arsenal's joint top goalscorer in all competitions with eight goals to his name. With the north Londoners occupying 6th position in the league, without Sanchez's goals things would look a lot worse.
Arsenal are fully aware that replacing a player of Sanchez's calibre is no easy feat, especially considering his importance to the club. So they have made it abundantly clear to any potential suitors that Sanchez will be seeing out the remainder of his deal unless a replacement is secured beforehand.
There have been a few players linked with a move to Arsenal, the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Nabil Fekir, and Malcom have all been touted for a potential January transfer. Whether Arsenal's interest in these players is concrete or not remains to be seen, but Sanchez will be going nowhere until a new attacker arrives.
No cut price deal
Arsenal have virtually zero bargaining power when it comes to negotiating the sale of Sanchez. The 29-year-old is free to negotiate a move to a club abroad, or wait until the summer where he can join any club of his choosing.
Sanchez was subject to a £20M enquiry from Man City earlier in the transfer window, but Arsenal will not sell to a Premier League club for less than £35M.
Normally, this is a fantastic deal for any admirer of the ex-Barcelona man, but the fact that he could join for free is even more appealing. In the current market, £20M is peanuts, so Arsenal dismissing City's enquiry is understandable, but can they afford to watch him walk for free?
It seems all but set in stone that Sanchez will only be an Arsenal player for a few more months. Naturally, attention is turning toward who The Gunners could get in to replace the Chilean. One thing is for certain, whoever comes in will have big shoes to fill, and he would certainly cost more than anything Arsenal may get for Sanchez.