Manchester City are no closer to agreeing a deal for Alexis Sanchez, with the transfer saga set to rumble on into late January.
Sanchez, desperate to leave Arsenal, has been linked with City for months as his contract with Arsenal ticks down into the final months, expiring in the summer.
Pep Guardiola is a well known admirer of the Chilean and has pinpointed him as a key target to take his record breaking City side to the next level.
However, whether Guardiola will land his target remains unknown, with City increasingly concerned about the prospect of losing out on Sanchez to rivals Manchester United.
United emerging as contenders
Jose Mourinho’s side entered the race late but have become serious contenders for Sanchez’s signature, their prospects growing as City struggle to negotiate a fee with Arsenal, who are seeking upwards of £30 million for their star man.
Another concern for City is regarding the pay packet being pushed for by Sanchez’s agent. The Manchester side feel the demands being presented to them are simply too high, so even if a fee was agreed there’d be work to be done.
Should United have not emerged in the race, City would have been content to wait until the summer and boost Sanchez’s wage offer with the money they saved on a transfer fee.
Sanchez could move to the red side of Manchester
The Etihad Stadium remains Sanchez’s preferred destination, but given his desperation to leave Arsenal this month, there is a possibility that he could get cold feet and jump ship to Old Trafford were that his only available opportunity.
Arsenal are keen to rid themselves of a player they see as out of form and out of time to turn his mood in the camp round, hence their openness to negotiate this month rather than chance holding onto Sanchez for a few more months.
The Gunners have the financial strength to seek a replacement before letting Sanchez leave but would be open to having the money in the bank first, meaning we could see a quick conclusion to the saga if either Manchester club stumps up the cash.
But, given Sanchez’s desire to join City, it’s believed a move to United would only occur late in the January window should Arsenal’s negotiations with the Citizens collapse.