Manchester City will make a last-ditch attempt to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in the January transfer window, but are only willing to offer £20m (€21.8m) for the Chile international. The 28-year-old is out of contract next summer and could leave the Emirates Stadium on a free, but Pep Guardiola remains desperate to have the forward available for at least part of this season.
Sanchez came within inches of moving to City on deadline day but the Gunners pulled the plug on the deal despite accepting an offer of £60m. Arsene Wenger had lined up a replacement in the form of Monaco's Thomas Lemar but the north Londoners ditched both deals after considering they did not have enough time to complete the signing of the France international.
According to The Sun, City will return for Sanchez in January but are only willing to offer a fraction of the fee that was accepted by Arsenal on 31 August. Nevertheless, Guardiola's side expect Sanchez to move to the Etihad Stadium sometime in the next 12 months, whether it be in the winter or at the end of the season.
Sanchez is permitted to discuss terms with overseas clubs over his future come January, meaning the likes of Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain could steal a march on City six months before the summer window opens. It is likely however that title favourites City will only revitalise their interest in Sanchez if any of their star-studded attack suffers a long-term injury.
Though City's prospective offer is way short of the fee Arsenal would have received last month, they may be forced to accept it if Sanchez cannot be seamlessly reintegrated into the first-team squad. The one-time Barcelona and Udinese hitman made his first appearance of the season in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool but due to the recent international break has yet to play for his club since his move to the north west collapsed.
If it were down to Wenger – who will questioned by the media for the first time regarding Arsenal's fortunes on deadline on Thursday [7 September] – City would be prevented from signing anyone in January. The French boss wants to see the window closed indefinitely to assist in restoring the sport's "decency".
"The players who do not play or the players who are tapped up in October they already start again to think where do I go in January," he told beIN Sports. "That's not a way to be on board with a football club. I believe we have to realise that.
"We are here to entertain people and you can do that with people who are really on board together, to achieve something together and not every minute that it doesn't go well to think 'where can I go next?'
"I believe that we have to bring some decency (to the game). We all complain today that it (football) has become too much (a) business, but we can do something about it. We have that responsibility in the game. The ideal situation would be to have a transfer period that is closed 48 hours before the first game of the championship and to close it completely until after the season."