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Return of the king

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez could be set for a sensational return to Serie A

The ex-Barcelona forward is expected to leave the Emirates this summer

ALEXIS SANCHEZ once claimed he wanted to “follow in the footsteps” of former Inter Milan hero, Ivan Zamorano.

The Serie A giants want the Chile international to be the poster boy of their new era — but face competition from Manchester City, while Arsenal are also hopeful he won’t leave the Emirates.

Alexis Sanchez could be set to leave Arsenal this summer

Rex Features
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Alexis Sanchez could be set to leave Arsenal this summer

Former Inter Milan striker Ivan Zamorano was Alexis Sanchez's childhood idol

AP:Associated Press
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Former Inter Milan striker Ivan Zamorano was Alexis Sanchez’s childhood idol

And, if the striker’s quotes from 2011 are still true, it’s a move to Inter which Sanchez has always craved — insisting he dreamt of emulating his hero and former Nerazzurri icon.

Speaking before his move to the Nou Camp that summer, he said: “I am happy in Italy and I want to win many trophies in this country.

“I am ambitious and it makes me feel proud to see my name linked with some of Europe’s top clubs.

“My idol growing up was Zamorano and , in my career, I have always dreamed of becoming like him.

The Chilean was a target for several of Europe’s top clubs, such as Manchester United and the 2010 Treble-winners, after an incredible season with Udinese.

Inter had also been keen on his signature, but were outbid by Barcelona, who were then reigning European champions.

Alexis Sanchez claimed he dreamt of winning trophies in Italy while with Udinese

ANSA FILE
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Alexis Sanchez claimed he dreamt of winning trophies in Italy while with Udinese

Alexis Sanchez was often benched in final season as a Barcelona player

AP:Associated Press
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Alexis Sanchez was often benched in final season as a Barcelona player

Alexis Sanchez generated interest from several clubs after 2014 World Cup showing

Getty Images
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Alexis Sanchez generated interest from several clubs after 2014 World Cup showing

Alexis Sanchez celebrates after becoming Chile's record goal scorer

AP:Associated Press
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after becoming Chile’s record goal scorer

Sanchez, 28, lost his place under Tito Vilanova in his final season at Nou Camp and became surplus to requirements — but emerged as a target for several of the biggest clubs around after an impressive 2014 World Cup.

Inter were again keen, but he opted to make the move to Arsenal.

Perhaps third time will be a charm for the Italian side?

Ivan Zamorano was at Real Madrid before joining Inter Milan in 1997

AP:Associated Press
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Ivan Zamorano was at Real Madrid before joining Inter Milan in 1997

Former Chile hero Ivan Zamorano was an icon for a young Alexis Sanchez

AFP
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Former Chile hero Ivan Zamorano was an icon for a young Alexis Sanchez

Fellow Chilean Zamorano, played for Inter from 1996 to 2001, after joining from Real Madrid, and formed a famous strike partnership with Ronaldo.

Together, they won the Uefa Cup in the 1997-98 season.

He was his country’s second top goal scorer behind Marcelo Salas on 34 goals, before both were overtaken by Sanchez.