City could cool on Sanchez trans­fer

Sunday News - - FOOTBALL - AAP

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.’’

Alexis Sanchez

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