Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists that a swap deal involving Raheem Sterling and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez was never on the cards and revealed that Arsene Wenger's men accepted the Citizens' bid for the Chilean but did not wish to part with him after failing to acquire a replacement.
City's interest in Sanchez was well known throughout the summer but they only made a serious move for the former Barcelona star during the final stages of the transfer window.
Guardiola's side reportedly offered cash-plus-Sterling for Sanchez, who could now leave the Emirates Stadium for free next summer, but the former Bayern Munich boss had no interest in parting with the 22-year-old, who is suspended for the match against his former side Liverpool on Saturday (9 September).
Guardiola also revealed that Arsenal did indeed accept City's cash-only offer for Sanchez, believed to be worth around £60m, but the Gunners did not sanction the deal because they could not draft in their ideal replacement, believed to be Monaco's Thomas Lemar.
"It's simple. When we spoke with Arsenal in the last days, they wanted to make a swap with Raz (Sterling)," Guardiola said in his press conference, relayed by the Daily Mail.
"They talked to me and I said no chance. Zero chance. Not one per cent chance. He's 22, an English player, a lot to improve. We only made an offer with cash, they accepted but couldn't sign their player."
Their attempts to lure Sanchez to Manchester may have proved futile during the summer, but City are believed to be preparing a £20m offer for the former Udinese wonderkid in January. Guardiola remained coy over whether City will continue their pursuit for Sanchez, but did not rule out making an offer in the winter transfer window.
"I don't know what's going to happen in the winter," Guardiola added. "We were interested in Alexis and in the end Arsenal decided not to sell him.
"I know him from Barcelona. Sometimes the deals work and sometimes not. We will see in the future."