Manchester City appear to be leading the race to sign Alexis Sanchez, after Bayern Munich decided against pursuing the player this summer.
Arsenal are still hopeful of persuading Sanchez to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, but with each passing week this looks increasingly unlikely. Should they be forced to sell him now, rather than lose him for nothing in 12 months time, they would prefer to sell him to an overseas club but Bayern, the German champions, have all but ended their interest due to the large sums involved.
“Everyone is talking about building a new team and how Bayern Munich’s future must be shaped,” club president Uli Hoeness told Kicker this week. “You can’t build a new team with €100million transfers for 29-year-olds and 30-year-olds. That isn’t a policy. Either we go down this road with all these young players, all getting a chance to play, or we don’t go down this road.”
Pep Guardiola knows Sanchez well having signed him from Udinese in 2011 when he was at Barcelona, although they only worked together for one season before the coach took a sabbatical. The City boss has made signing the 28-year-old for a second time one of his key priorities this summer, and he knows he will be backed to pursue the player ahead of the new season.
Indeed, having spent over £160million in his first year in charge at the Etihad Stadium he could go on to spend even more in his second. Bernardo Silva has already arrived from Monaco in a £42.5million deal, and Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson has joined from Benfica for £34million. And according to The Independent, a bid of £50million is being lined up to prize Sanchez from Arsenal.
Such a transfer would understandably see the Gunners faithful outraged. Not only do they want Arsene Wenger to tie down his key players and also improve their squad, but they have seen City take a number of their key players in recent years. And whilst the Blues have won two league titles in the last six years, the Londoners were last crowed champions back in 2004.