ARSENAL reportedly want Anthony Martial as part of the deal to take Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
The 29-year-old Chilean was axed from the Gunners squad on Sunday for the defeat at Bournemouth.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger confirmed after the setback he expected the Chilean’s future to be “decided within 48 hours” as United and neighbours Manchester City battle for his services.
But the Standard claim that the Red Devils have edged ahead of their rivals in the race for Sanchez because they are willing to offer both options of a bigger fee or a player in exchange to land him.
Wenger and new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in November, are also believed to be keen on United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian flanker has struggled during his time at Old Trafford since his arrival from Dortmund in 2016, and Jose Mourinho is willing to let him leave.
However, Frenchman Wenger also wants to explore the possibility of getting his fellow countryman Martial as part of the Sanchez deal.
Pep Guardiola believed that his ex-Barcelona forward’s preference was to join him at the Etihad after the late collapse of his move to the Etihad in August.
But United are willing to splash out £35m to secure the South American and significantly for Wenger, they are willing to include a player as a makeweight.
Wenger attempted to make Raheem Sterling or Sergio Aguero part of the City deal last summer, which was blocked outright by Guardiola.
United’s willingness now puts them ahead of City, although Mourinho is unlikely to be willing to lose Martial.
The 22-year-old has been among the goals for the North West club this campaign despite limited opportunities, bagging nine times.
But his effectiveness from the bench could see Mourinho opt to keep the hotshot, with him more likely to be hoping that Mkhitaryan can help swing a move in their favour.
A straight cash deal is still a possibility, but Wenger does not want to be caught short and wants a replacement lined-up before sanctioning Sanchez’s exit.
Latest reports claim that he is interested in Bordeaux’s Malcolm, who is valued at £45m.
The Guardian claim discussions to agree personal terms took place in France yesterday between Gunners chiefs and the 20-year-old’s representatives.