Manchester City pursuing Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, United 'close' to deal

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 10:49 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Premier League clubs Manchester United and Manchester City are both vying for the services of Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez.

And one of the Manchester clubs is reportedly "close" to an agreement.

The Chilean forward will leave London this month if a "suitable offer arrives" and Arsenal finds a replacement, according to the BBC. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave an update on the 29-year-old's status in a news conference Friday.

Wenger confirmed that Sanchez is committed to winning and that the two have had recent conversations about that commitment. The Gunners boss would not say if Manchester United, specifically, was interested in signing the forward. He also said the club is not in a "bidding war."

"A bidding war is always beneficial to the club who can take advantage of it," Wenger told reporters. "We are not in that. I maintain what I've said many times. Normally, he should stay here until the end of the season but we'll see."

Wenger admitted that the club didn't sell Sanchez in the summer because it had no replacement.

Sources told the BBC that Sanchez prefers to go to Manchester City and that there have been conversations between the clubs. Those sources anticipate Arsenal and City could compromise on a deal from about $34.1 million to $41 million. The BBC also reported that United "are believed" to have made contact with Arsenal about Sanchez in September.

Sky Sport reported Friday that United is "close" to an agreement with Sanchez.

Sources told the Guardian that United offered a bid in the region of $34.1 million for the player. City offered Arsenal $27.3 million for Sanchez during the January transfer window, according to the report.

Sanchez made his senior career debut in 2005 with Cobreloa. He played for Udinese from 2006 to 2011, while going on loan to Colo-Colo and River Plate. Sanchez played for FC Barcelona from 2011 to 2014, before moving to Arsenal.

Sanchez has familiarity with City, as he previously played under manager Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

The BBC reported in September that City and Arsenal reached a conditional agreement for Sanchez, but the deal fell through after Monaco winger Thomas Lemar decided against a move to Arsenal.

The Chilean can leave Arsenal when his contract expires this summer, if the team cannot agree on a deal with another club.

Arsenal faces Bournemouth at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Premier League action at Dean Court in Bournemouth, England. City faces Liverpool on Sunday, while United battles Stoke City on Monday.

City tops the Premier League table with 20 wins, two draws and no losses.

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