City could cool on Sanchez transfer
MANCHESTER City are prepared to walk away from a potential deal to sign Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, according to reports.
The English Premier League leaders feel the overall price for signing the Chile forward, transfer fee, agent costs and wage demands, is currently too high.
And City are not concerned if this stance opens up a route for arch-rivals Manchester United, to step in.
Sanchez has long been a target for City and they offered NZ$113 million (£60m) for the 29-year-old, without success, last summer.
They would now hope to do a deal for a fee of around NZ$37 million (£20m) but are understood to have been quoted NZ$66 million (£35m).
Reports emerged yesterday that United were keen to enter the race for Sanchez but there has been no confirmation from the Red Devils.
City boss Pep Guardiola refused to discuss the matter at his press conference yesterday to preview his side’s clash with Liverpool this weekend.
Guardiola said: ‘‘I’m focused on Liverpool, believe me. Alexis, everyone knows how good he is, but I amnot going to answer about Alexis or other players.’’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, has stressed that Sanchez will only be allowed to leave the north London club this month if a replacement is found.
The Gunners, who maintain they have not yet received an approach for Sanchez, have been linked with Bordeaux’s Brazilian forward Malcom.
Wenger said: ‘‘Of course I want a quick resolution.
‘‘Is he [Sanchez] replaceable in the way that we find exactly the same player? Certainly not, but there’s always a way to find a different balance.’’
Guardiola, meanwhile, hopes forward Gabriel Jesus could return ahead of schedule from his knee injury and make the first leg of City’s Champions League tie with Basel next month.
City face Basel in Switzerland on February 13 and Guardiola is optimistic Jesus will be in the squad for the first leg of that last16 tie.
‘‘I think in two, three weeks, hopefully the day against Basel, the Champions League game, [he] could be fit, could be ready,’’ Guardiola said.
‘‘I think in two, three weeks he will be ready again with us.’’