On Sunday, ?Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger promised the saga would be brought to an end in 48 hours. However, regardless of how close United’s deal actually is or the validity of Chelsea’s interest, it is understood that City – who were apparently Sanchez’s preferred destination – were unwilling to compete with the offers on the table from rival clubs and were not prepared to make the former Barcelona man, who played under Guardiola at Camp Nou, the highest paid player in their table topping squad.
Guardiola and Al Mubarak as well as other key members of the club hierarchy, according to ?Sky, agreed that the combination of excessive wages and signing on fee did not represent value for money for player who would have been available on a free transfer in the summer.
Man Utd by contrast are willing to hand Sanchez a £350k-a-week contract in order to secure the deal ahead of their rivals, while several reports suggest Henrikh Mkhitaryan – ?who was left out of the Red Devils’ squad that took on Stoke on Monday night – will be used in a part exchange deal.
Man City pull out of race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, based on current numbers demanded by #AFC + AS. #MCFC believe they were 1st choice but that Man U offering package higher than City would’ve paid in £60m deal last summer. TWIST City think Chelsea #CFC rivalling #MUFCpic.twitter.com/m8jPvSEqTt
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 15, 2018
Another reason City may have decided to cancel their pursuit of one of the transfer window’s most-coveted stars is the timely news that forward Gabriel Jesus is likely to be back playing ahead of schedule within the next month, aiding the club’s attacking options.