Former Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given believes his former club would be foolish to send Raheem Sterling to Arsenal as part of a potential deal for Alexis Sanchez and believes the England international could become a "£100m player" if he manages to develop a clinical nature in front of goal.

Earlier this week City reportedly offered the Gunners money-plus-Sterling for Sanchez, who favours a switch to the Etihad Stadium. The former Liverpool attacker is willing to discuss a potential move to north London, according to the Times, but Given thinks Pep Guardiola would be mad to part with a player who is constantly improving and would be very surprised if the idea of swapping Sterling for Sanchez came from City's end.

"Am I the only person on the planet who thinks Arsenal would be getting a much better deal?," Given said on talkSPORT. "Sanchez is 29 in December, Sterling is 22. He has got at least ten years [left at the top], Sanchez only has two or three.

"Arsenal should be offering Manchester City money [plus Sanchez]. I don't understand it. I hope Guardiola is on the phone to Sterling and saying 'this is nothing to do with us, it is Arsenal who put your name forward, you are going nowhere, we just want to buy Sanchez'. If that is the case, then fine.

"I would be surprised if it is coming from the City end. I think it is maybe Arsenal trying to chuck Sterling in to get a better deal for the club. Raheem is improving all the time. I think he is getting better and better. Last season was one of his best seasons and this season he has scored important goals for City.

"When the news broke yesterday he was part of the [Sanchez] deal, I was shocked. He is a player you want to keep at City. He is 22 years of age, his best years are ahead of him, and he is improving every year.

"He is getting in the positions and if he works on his finishing on the training ground, you could have a £100m player on your hands."

City would prefer to keep hold of Sterling and are hopeful of striking a cash-only deal for Sanchez, who has just 11 months left on his deal with Arsenal.

The Gunners know they will find it extremely difficult to replace the former Barcelona winger and are reportedly commanding a fee of £70m for the Chile international, who asked to leave his national team's training camp on Tuesday [29 August] in order to give himself the best possible chance of completing a move away from north London.

Raheem Sterling, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka
City do not want to part with Sterling in order to sign Sanchez. Getty Images