Lure of Guardiola could soon bring Sanchez to City

LONDON • Manchester City are increasingly confident of signing Alexis Sanchez for a potential fee in the region of £50 million (S$90 million), despite Arsenal's reluctance to sell, because of the forward's desire to play under Pep Guardiola.

Although Arsene Wenger is against allowing his best player to leave, he is aware of Sanchez's desire to join City. If the Arsenal manager does not sanction a sale this summer, he faces losing Sanchez in 12 months on a free transfer.

Sanchez has refused to sign a new deal despite the 28-year-old being offered around £250,000 a week by the north London club. He could earn closer to £300,000 at City.

The Chilean was signed by Guardiola for Barcelona from Udinese in the summer of 2011 and was managed by him until the Spaniard left at the close of the following season.

If Sanchez does force a way out, Arsenal's preference is not to sell him to a domestic rival. The club would rather he move to Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich, who both remain interested. The striker has scored 53 league goals in three seasons.

Arsenal are trying to strengthen their forward line regardless and have had a £31 million offer for Monaco's Thomas Lemar turned down.

With Chile in the Confederations Cup until Sunday's final and Arsenal determined to hold on to Sanchez, City are prepared to play the long game.

Their pursuit of Dani Alves, however, should be concluded much more swiftly.

The Brazilian right-back has been released by Juventus and there is an expectation at the Etihad Stadium the 34-year-old will be a City player by tomorrow.

Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, a compatriot of Alves, told Brazilian TV show Noite dos Craques: "It has not yet materialised but when it does, I'll be quite happy.

"I will be happy not just because of his quality but for the energy he has. I really like the energy he has, it motivates the group, motivates people to always want to win in life and in the game."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2017, with the headline 'Lure of Guardiola could soon bring Sanchez to City'. Print Edition | Subscribe