Barcelona agree Sanchez deal, but Fabregas will still follow

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Alexis Sanchez has been one of the most sought-after transfer targets of the summer but Udinese have finally reached a deal with Barcelona over the Chilean winger.

Interest was strong across Europe for Sanchez, with Chelsea and Manchester City among the clubs in the Premier League looking to seal the signature of the 22-year-old.

Napoli and Juventus were also interested in Italy, but according to Spanish newspaper AS, it is Barcelona that have won the race after agreeing an initial deal worth €40m, with further bonuses still to be negotiated.

Sanchez is currently representing Chile at the Copa America, but stated earlier in the close season that Barcelona would be his chosen destination.

His arrival will certainly up the ante for a place in the Barcelona first team as he competes with David Villa and Pedro for the two spots alongside Lionel Messi in attack.

However, what is perhaps the biggest point of the deal is that the €40m will be paid in instalments, which means that the money is still available to sign Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona began the summer with a transfer kitty of €65m, but the fact they will pay for Sanchez over five years means that there should be plenty at their disposal for Fabregas.

Arsenal are holding out for around £40m for Fabregas, which is a valuation that Barcelona have yet to meet.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will play hardball in the sale of their most prized asset and will be unlikely to settle for any major instalment payments and will instead want the majority of the fee paid up front.

Arsenal will find it virtually impossible to replace Fabregas and losing him will make it extremely difficult for them to win the Premier League this season.

It is 8/1 in the Premier League odds that Arsenal are crowned champions and 4/7 that they manage to retain their spot in the top four of the table.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.