Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has seemingly refused to rule out a January move for Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez, following reports that his side had edged ahead of neighbours Manchester City in the race for the Chilean.
The 29-year-old Gunners star has been set on working with City manager Pep Guardiola for a number of months – the league leaders tried to sign Sanchez last summer – but reports earlier on Friday suggested that City were to shelve their interest in bringing him in this month. Arsenal’s asking price is believed to be £35m, while City are only willing to hit the £20m mark.
Sanchez will most likely be a free agent in the summer as he’s set on leaving Arsenal, and the London club have been unable to convince him to extend his contract. Arsenal are willing to cash in on him now – rather than lose Sanchez for free in six months – so long as they’re able to bring in a replacement.
United, it’s reported, ARE willing to meet Arsenal’s asking price, and could offer the player a bigger financial package than City in order to convince Sanchez to choose red over blue. Importantly, it’s now believed that City are happy to bide their time, and are willing to lose out to their rivals over paying Arsenal’s demands.
Mourinho, speaking to the press on Friday evening, has now had his say on the matter – uttering that while he didn’t like the January market, there were some players who he simply has to try and sign whenever they become available.
He said, via M.E.N:
You’ve got a number 7 shirt, a guaranteed first team place, and the option to sometimes play full back. It’s a no brainer.
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) January 12, 2018
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player, I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.
“At the general level what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board, the owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market, we don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something, we don’t believe in that.
“What we believe really is there are some players in football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, in March or in July, you have to try and that’s it.
“But in relation to Alexis Sanchez I don’t say a word, the only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player, apart from that an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this.”
The plot thickens…