Former Arsenal and Tottenham midfielder David Bentley thinks Arsene Wenger's side should attempt to pursue a deal for Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale, who he believes would be a more than suitable replacement for Alexis Sanchez.

The Gunners are likely to lose Sanchez in the summer, with the Chile international in the final knockings of his contract in north London. Sanchez was close to joining Manchester City for £60m in the summer transfer window, but Wenger's men pulled the plug on a deal after failing to line up a replacement.

Arsenal will presumably have no choice but to draft in a successor to Sanchez in the coming months, and Bentley, who came through the Gunners' academy before eventually joining Tottenham in 2008, thinks his former club should target Real star Bale, whose stock has plummeted this season due to his susceptibility to injuries.

The January transfer market is notoriously difficult to operate in, but Bentley wouldn't be surprised if Real made his former Tottenham teammate Bale available for transfer in the winter and thinks Arsenal may be able to get him for a "snip" at £86m. The Wales international is earning around £300,000-a-week in Madrid, but Bentley does not see his astronomical salary as an issue for Arsenal, who submitted a £92m bid for Monaco playmaker Thomas Lemar in the summer.

"In the January window they're going to be struggling to get a concrete, long-term replacement. It's a difficult market to operate under because nobody wants to release their players," said Bentley, speaking exclusively to 888sport. "But for me, if there was an option of going for Gareth Bale - who is available and can have an effect long-term – then Arsenal will pay the wages. That would put the cat among the pigeons. That would be controversial to say the least.

"But if you're looking around the world at the minute for an unknown or a foreign player without Premier League experience then it's very difficult to get them up to speed straight away. There are a few rumours and it wouldn't surprise me if he was available and £86m would be a snip. Bale can do everything and is one of the best players I've ever seen.

"He's also commercially good. If they can get him for £86m they can more than manage the £300,000 a week or whatever he's on. That would be the player I'd target."

However, Arsenal are unlikely to pursue a deal for Bale, who joined Real Madrid from their arch-rivals Tottenham in the summer of 2013, but they will be hoping to put one over on their old foes when they visit The Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Bentley scored a wondergoal for Spurs at The Emirates when the two north London giants played out a famous 4-4 draw in 2008, and Mauricio Pochettino's side will try to secure their first victory on Arsenal's home turf since November 2010, when Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul guided Spurs to a famous 3-2 win.

Read the full 888sport interview with David Bentley, including his thoughts on Arsene Wenger's treatment of Lacazette.

Gareth Bale
Bentley has urged Arsenal to sign the injury-prone Bale. Getty Images