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Manchester City plot cut-price £20m transfer swoop for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in January window

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 13/10/2017 John Cross

League leading Manchester City are ready to make a January move for Alexis Sanchez — but only if they can get him on the cheap.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger effectively tried to start an auction by admitting he could sell Sanchez and midfielder Mesut Ozil in the winter window rather than lose £100m worth of talent for nothing when their contracts expire at season's end.

Mirror Sport understands Sanchez has made up his mind to move to the Etihad, which leaves City in a strong position.

They failed with a deadline-day £60m offer for the 29-year-old in August and could yet sign him as a free agent, when the player would also get a more lucrative contract.

Credits: Rex Features © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Rex Features

Rex Features

If City do move for Sanchez in January, it would be for a fraction of the money on offer in the summer.

His value could plummet to as little as £20m with just six months left on his contract.

Sanchez would also not be cup-tied for the Champions League — another attraction for City boss Pep Guardiola, who signed him for Barcelona in 2011.

Gunners chief Wenger appears to have played into City’s hands by admitting the Londoners might have to cut their losses on Sanchez and Ozil rather than lose them on frees.

Despite Ozil’s representatives claiming there have been “positive” talks, Mirror Sport understands there is no sign of a breakthrough in contract negotiations with both sides still far apart.

When asked whether Arsenal would have to consider selling in January, Wenger admitted: “Once you are in our kind of situation we have envisaged every kind of solution, yes. Yes, it’s possible.”

Arsenal are likely to make a judgement call on Sanchez in January depending on whether their season is still alive and also if there is concrete interest in Ozil. Inter Milan have publicly admitted they are keen.

Wenger insisted that Sanchez would stay motivated despite his uncertain future because he would want to stay focused and in top form for Chile ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

And even after Chile’s shock failure to qualify this week, the manager insisted he is not worried that Sanchez could lose his motivation.

Credits: REUTERS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REUTERS

Reuters

Wenger, who hinted heavily that Sanchez would not start Saturday's away game against Watford because of mental and physical exhaustion following international duty, said: “I have no doubt that he wants to perform.

“He never goes on the football pitch to lose a football game, never. Sanchez is a winner type. You have always to set targets when you’re a football player. When one is gone, you focus on something else.

“Sanchez is 29 at the end of the year, so the next one [World Cup] he will be 33. He expected to go. Certainly a big disappointment for him.

“But I believe to play at the top level is dealing with that kind of disappointment.

“If you want to make a big career it’s a bit of a roller-coaster, because you are sometimes on a high then three days later you’re on a low. It’s part of our job.

“Some deal better than others with it.”

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