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Manuel Pellegrini: We wanted Alexis Sánchez at Manchester City, but…

Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that the club wanted to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sánchez, but couldn’t make a deal happen because of Financial Fair Play restrictions at the time.

City first tried to sign Sánchez when he played for Udinese, but he opted instead for a move to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. When Barça put him up for sale, Pellegrini told ADN that City again wanted him, but limits on spending and squad size back then meant it couldn’t be achieved.

Pellegrini, who is now in charge of Hebei China Fortune in China, said, “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.”

Alexis would have been quite a signing for City, but the 63-year-old Chilean went on to explain, “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.”

City have again been linked with a move for the forward, but Pep Guardiola was quick to deny an alleged phone call he made to the 27-year-old, calling the journalist who wrote it “a liar”.

Both Sánchez and teammate Mesut Özil are yet to sign new deals with the Gunners, with both holding out for monster deals, and there has been speculation in the press that one could leave and the other stay. Were Alexis to decide on an exit, there is a good chance Manchester City could try again and make it third time lucky in acquiring the Premier League superstar.

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