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Manchester City are reportedly ready to move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window, but only if they can sign him for a bargain price.
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, City’s offer for the player in January is likely to be significantly less than the £60 million they bid in the summer, with the forward’s value said to be viewed at around £20 million in the midseason window. That’s because his contract expires at the end of the 2017-18 season.
“Mirror Sport understands Sanchez has made up his mind to move to the Etihad, which leaves City in a strong position,” continued the report.
Cross also noted the 28-year-old would not be cup-tied for UEFA Champions League matches in the new year, meaning he would be able to help City push for that trophy too.
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The report comes after comments from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger suggested players whose contracts are to run out—like Sanchez and his team-mate Mesut Ozil—may be sold on in the January window.
“Once you are in our kind of situation we have envisaged every kind of solution, yes,” he said on Thursday, per Cross. “Yes, it’s possible.”
Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones expects the speculation surrounding both players to be ramped up in light of those comments:
Dean Jones @DeanJonesBR
So we will now build towards this in January: Alexis joins Man City and Ozil joins Man United
According to Cross, Arsenal will make a “judgement call” on Sanchez’s position in January, with the decision to sell him set to depend “on whether their season is still alive.”
Whether there is still something for the Gunners to play for from January onwards will likely have plenty to do with Sanchez. After all, despite the incessant exit talk, the forward is still the heartbeat of the Arsenal team in the final third.
The forward may want out, but he still sets an example with his hard-running, inventive passing and tremendous goalscoring. Per WhoScored.com, last season there wasn’t a player in the Premier League as effective in creating and taking chances:
Alexis Sánchez: Was the only player to register double figures for both goals(2⃣4⃣) and assists (🔟) in the Premier League last season https://t.co/LHClSZJOz5
After digging in this summer and keeping Sanchez despite interest from City, Arsenal would surely be reluctant to sell midseason.
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The prospect of losing such a wonderful footballer for nothing at the end of the campaign is not appealing, but the point of not selling was with a view to one more season of a world-class operator and tapping into that talent.
From a City perspective, with their attack purring, there’d be no great urgency to sign the 28-year-old in the next window despite his obvious talent, especially if they can land him for nothing a few months after. However, if a deal was to be done, he’d give Pep Guardiola’s side quite the boost as they look to challenge on multiple fronts for silverware.