Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have finally walked away from the Alexis Sanchez deal after a day of crunch talks within the club.
But Chelsea are now being said to have made a late bid to rival Manchester United’s interest in the Arsenal ace – and that could push the fee even higher than the £35million the Reds are prepared to pay.
City, who would not go over their £20million bid, have left the door open to Sanchez – who had indicated he was desperate to join up with Pep Guardiola again.
But the feeling among the City hierarchy is that Sanchez, desperate to leave the Emirates, will opt for a deal which will make him the highest-paid player at Old Trafford – with reports suggesting he will bag £400,000 a week.
That eclipsed the £275,000 a week that City had agreed with Sanchez in the summer, and which they were still ready to pay after resurrecting the deal in this window.
United are also expected to offer £30million plus unwanted midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a deal that would exceed, in value, the £60million which City had lined up to get the player in summer.
That deal collapsed on deadline day when Arsenal failed to secure Monaco star Thomas Lemar as a replacement.
Manager Pep Guardiola has been locked in talks with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive Ferran Soriano and football director Txiki Begiristain today.
And while the manager was keen to land Sanchez, it is understood he agreed that taking a player on for such inflated wages would upset the equilibrium in his squad.
( MANU EVENING)