Chile ace Sanchez is out of contract at the Gunners at the end of next season but has hinted that he is keen to depart this summer – after on-field tantrums and delayed talks over a new deal.
The attacker has starred for the north London outfit as he has netted 18 times in 29 games and boasts the highest assist tally in the Premier League.
The Blues, along with Paris Saint Germain, are interested to sign Sanchez at the end of the season – and ex-Arsenal striker Merson is adamant he will move on.
“I would be shocked if Sanchez wasn’t playing for Chelsea next season,” Merson told Newsweek . “And people go, ‘Oh, don’t be silly,’ but don’t forget if he was going to sign, he probably would have done it at the start of the year.
“I don’t see him signing and why people say he’ll never go to Chelsea, Arsenal don’t work like that. They’re not going to let him see his contract out: They want £50 million quid. They sold [Robin] Van Persie to Man United [in 2012] and they went on and won the league. They don’t care about that.”
Arsene Wenger’s future is also uncertain – with the Frenchman yet to sign a new contract despite his current agreement expiring at the end of the campaign.
And Merson thinks the manager, who has been at the club since 1996, should only stay if he can bring old boys Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira back as coaches.
“The only way of getting round it is if he brings in [former Arsenal players] Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira to work under him for a year, with the assurance that they take over,” Merson says. “I think the fans could accept and swallow that.”
But Merson believes Wenger is blinded over the potential of his team. “I don’t think he sees that they’re a million miles away; that’s his problem. He’s a bit deluded at the moment. If you sat down with him, I think he’d say, ‘Oh yeah, we can win it [the Premier League] next season’. They’ve got no chance. No chance.”
And Merson believes Wenger and the club have grown arrogant over their tarnsfer dealings after years of being on top.
“When [Real Madrid striker Karim] Benzema had a chance to come in and he says, ‘What do I need Benzema for, I’ve got [Olivier] Giroud?’ Don’t say that, just put in a bid,” Merson says. “You know, [they offered Liverpool] £40 million-and-a-pound for Suarez. Bid £60 million. Arsenal would have won the league by now.
“There’s an arrogance at Arsenal at the moment, and the arrogance isn’t helping at all. The fans are fighting each other and people up above couldn’t care less.”