Manchester City preparing to bid for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Raheem Sterling could go the other way

Manchester City want to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez before Thursday’s transfer deadline and are preparing a formal bid, thought to be of £50 million.

City’s interest in Sanchez has long been rumoured and now the club are preparing to firm that interest up with a bid expected to be made soon.

Sanchez, 28, is in the final year of his contract at Arsenal and has so far shown little inclination to sign a new deal. While Gooners boss Arsene Wenger would be loathe to lose one of his best players, the prospect of receiving £50 million – rather than face losing him on a free in June – could be too tempting to resist.

City boss Pep Guardiola is known to be a fan of Sanchez, and it I believed he wants to sign him in a straight deal. However, earlier in the day rumours emerged that England winger Raheem Sterling could be offered as a makeweight in the deal. While Sterling has started all three of City’s Premier League games so far this season, the presence of Bernardo Silva means his game time could be limited.

With just two days until the transfer window closes, City are leaving their business late and if the deal happens – and it is a big ‘if’ – could it set of a chain reaction of deals as Arsenal look to buy to replace Sanchez? These next two days will be very interesting.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain close to joining Chelsea for £40 million

Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is close to agreeing a move to Premier League champions Chelsea in a deal worth £40 million.

England international Oxlade-Chamberlain is in the final year of his contract at The Emirates and has refused to sign a new deal. Rather than let him go for free next summer, the Gooners have been seeking to sell the 24-year-old.

Chelsea have agreed a fee for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but have yet to agree terms with him. The move would help to increase the number of home-grown players in the Chelsea squad – the 18 that played at the weekend contained no English-qualified players.

Liverpool are also known to be interested in signing Oxlade-Chamberlain, but have yet to make a concrete bid for him. The Reds are still pursuing Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, although he could cost £20 million more than Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool join Arsenal in race to sign Thomas Lemar

Liverpool have joined Arsenal in making an enquiry to Monaco about their 21-year-old winger Thomas Lemar – and offered a club record fee for him.

The Reds are believed to have offered £55 million for 21-year-old Lemar earlier in the summer and that this offer is still active.

Arsenal have chased Lemar for most of the summer but recently declared any deal ‘dead in the water’. However, there is a suspicion that is just a bit of public brinkmanship, given that the transfer window closes this week.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also shown an interest in the versatile midfielder over the summer.

However, Monaco are adamant that they don’t want to sell Lemar. Given that several of their side have departed – including Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea and Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva to Manchester City – and star Kylian Mbappe looks like he will follow them out of the exit door you can understand their position.

Lemar, regarded as one of the brightest rising stars of French football, has kept largely quiet on his intentions this summer and has been playing regularly for Monaco so far this season – unlike Mbappe.

This story will probably go right up to the transfer deadline on Thursday. He could end up in England but it is just as likely that he decides to stay in the principality.

Get the factz you need on today’s Premier League matches

All the factz you need on form, records and more for today’s Premier League matches

Chelsea v Everton (13.30)

* Last season, Chelsea did the double over Everton, hammering the Toffees 5-0 at Stamford Bridge and winning 0-3 at Goodison Park.
* This continued Chelsea’s recent dominance over Everton – they have won 7 of their last 10 PL matches against them.
* Everton haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1994.
* Chelsea have scored in each of their last 9 PL matches.
* Everton have won 4 of their past 10 PL matches – and also lost 4.

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City (13.30)

* Perhaps unsurprisingly, neither match last season was a goal-fest: Albion won 1-0 at home, while it was a 1-1 draw at the Bet365 Stadium.
* Tony Pulis has never lost a match against Stoke since he left the club – 5 wins in 6 attempts. Four of those wins were 1-0, living up to the stereotype of defensive Pulis teams.
* The Baggies have won their opening 2 fixtures without conceding a goal.
* But they have only scored once in their last 5 matches at The Hawthorns.
* But Stoke have a terrible recent away record – losing 7 of their last 9 and winning just once. They also failed to score in 6 of those matches.

Liverpool v Arsenal (16.00)

* Liverpool did the double over Arsenal last season, winning 3-1 at Anfield and edging a thriller 3-4 at the Emirates.
* In the 50 previous PL meetings between the sides, Liverpool have won on 18 occasions to Arsenal’s 15.
* The Reds have kept 3 consecutive clean sheets at home.
* Arsenal’s recent away record is pretty bad – 8 defeats and just 4 wins in their last 13 matches.
* Expect goals today – there have been 17 goals in the last 3 meetings between the sides, with Liverpool scoring 3 or more in each of those matches.

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley (16.00)

* Spurs did the double over Burnley last season – winning 2-1 at White Hart Lane and 0-2 at Turf Moor.
* While Burnley won just once away from home last season, they did beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the opening round of fixtures this season.
* However, they haven’t won at Spurs since 1974.
* Spurs have been beaten once at home in their last 20 matches – by Chelsea last time out.
* If Harry Kane scores, it will be his hundredth for Spurs in all competitions.

Get all the factz you need to know about Premier League matches for August 26

AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City (12.00)

* City have dominated this fixture since Bournemouth were promoted – they’ve won the 4 games by an aggregate of 15-1.
* In 10 league meetings overall the Cherries have never beaten City, losing on 8 occasions.
* Bournemouth have lost their opening 2 fixtures – as they did in the previous 2 campaigns.
* Sergio Aguero is on a hot scoring streak away from the Etihad – scoring in each of his last 7 matches.

Crystal Palace v Swansea City

* Last season Swansea did the double over Palace, winning 1-2 at Selhurst Park and coming out on top by the odd goal in a 9-goal thriller at the Liberty Stadium.
* Both sides are yet to score in the PL this season.
* Indeed, Swansea are yet to have a shot on target even – all the other PL sides have managed at least 1.
* Swansea have won 6 of the past 12 matches between the sides, with the Eagles winning just once.
* Palace have lost 6 of their last 7 PL matches.

Huddersfield Town v Southampton

* Huddersfield have won their opening 2 matches – no newly-promoted side has won their first 3 since Bolton in 2001.
* The sides haven’t met since 2010, when both were in League One.
* There hasn’t been a draw between the sides since 1965 (12 matches).
* Saints have scored in just 3 of their last 10 league matches.
* But Huddersfield are also goal-shy at home – just one goal in their past 4 matches.

Newcastle United v West Ham United

* Both sides have lost their opening 2 fixtures this season.
* This is West Ham’s third successive away game as the London Stadium has been used for the World Athletics Championship.
* Newcastle are also yet to score this season.
* The last time the sides met, in January 2016, Newcastle ran out 2-1 winners.
* Newcastle have won 17 of their 38 PL matches against the Hammers. West Ham have won on just 11 occasions.

Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion

* This is only the third meeting between the sides in the top flight. Their last meeting was in 1983 and ended 1-1.
* Watford haven’t beaten Brighton since 2012 – losing 3 of their 5 subsequent fixtures.
* Brighton have lost their opening 2 matches and have also failed to score.
* Watford’s win over Bournemouth last time out was their first PL win in 7 matches.
* New Hornets signing Andre Gray has scored in his last 4 appearances against Brighton.

Manchester United v Leicester City (5.30)

* United did the double over the Foxes last season – winning 4-1 at Old Trafford and 0-3 at the King Power Stadium.
* United are unbeaten in 30 home matches in all competitions.
* United have won 12 of their last 15 PL matches against Leicester.
* Leicester have won 1 of their last 5 PL matches and haven’t kept a clean sheet in 6.
* United are on a run of 4 consecutive clean sheets.