A battle is looming between Pep Guardiola and former Bayern Munich to sign Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez.
The German champions believe that the Chilean is determined to move to the Allianz Arena and are ready to offer him a £230,000-a-week deal.
Guardiola plans to overhaul his team and as such has made Sanchez, Arsenal’s leading scorer, his prime target with Manchester City prepared to part with £50m to secure him.
However, they will need to convince Arsene Wenger to sell to a direct opponent and on the other hand persuade the Arsenal striker that his trophy ambitions can still be fulfilled at the Etihad.
Guardiola and the 28-year-old Sanchez have worked together at Barcelona and their personal relationship is likely to play a factor. However, Bayern Munich are increasingly feeling that Sanchez will pick them before Manchester City.
According to sources in Chile, Sanchez’s agent, Fernando Felicevich flew to Munich this week as anticipation heightens that it is just a matter of time before a deal is made public.
Bayern, who have an ageing attack – which includes Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben, aged 34 and 33, respectively – that needs to be invigorated, are determined to sign Sanchez.
Even so, it is thought that Bayern’s are offering a deal that is worth less than that already offered at Arsenal.
This summer, many high earning players such as Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas and Pablo Zabaleta will be moving on, significantly reducing Manchester City’s wage bill and also creating space for many new additions.
Sanchez could turn out to be Man City’s most costly acquisition in a transfer window – when Guardiola could spend upto if not over £200m.
Wenger has reportedly maintained that even if he continues to turn down signing a new deal, his prized asset won’t leave the Emirates.
Arsenal is very unlikely to be ready to lose Sanchez for nothing the moment the talented striker becomes a free agent next summer. Arsenal F.C failed to qualify for the Champions League, hence adding to the belief that the Chilean will move on after FA Cup final.
Sky Sports reported Arsenal legend Thierry Henry saying: “I hope that he’s going to stay, but he wants to be in the Champions League, he wants to be in a club that is competing at least and it hasn’t happened recently.
He added: “I’m talking about in the Champions League and Premier League because he won the FA Cup already with Arsenal.
“Who knows what’s going to happen with him? Is he going to listen to other teams that are going to come and get him?” he wondered.