Manchester City were keen on signing Alexis Sanchez before he joined Arsenal, according to the Citizens' former manager Manuel Pellegrini. He left Barcelona and made a switch to the Emirates in the summer of 2014.

The former Malaga manager was at the Etihad from 2013 and left the club after the end of last season, to make way for his successor Pep Guardiola. The 27-year-old has won the FA Cup in 2015 and has two Community Shields with the north London club. He has bagged 14 goals and has eight assists to his name in all competitions and has become a fan favourite at the Emirates.

Pellegrini said his former employer's failure to bring Sanchez to City was down to the club being punished by the Uefa for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. This forced the Chilean manager to end his interest in signing his compatriot for his former club.

"He was one of the best in the world and he showed it every day. He was a major player we wanted to take to City," Pellegrini told the Chilean radio station ADN, as quoted by the Evening Standard.

"We could not take him before he signed for Arsenal, it was because the club was punished for Financial Fair Play. I did not have the space in the squad for him. Alexis is a complete winner and hopefully he will remain a force for a number of years."

Sanchez's current deal at Arsenal will run down after the end of the next season. With over 18 months left on his contract, the former Barcelona forward is yet to commit his future to the Gunners.

Earlier reports suggested Guardiola personally called Sanchez to join him at City as the pair have worked together at Barcelona. However, the Catalan coach rubbished the suggestions, while Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was coy when asked about the reports linking the South American to the Blues.

Sanchez will travel to the Etihad with Arsenal as they face City in the next league clash on 18 December. It should be seen whether the Chilean can help the Gunners bag three points against a side who were interested in signing him in the past.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has over 18 months left on his contract at Arsenal Getty