Manchester City remain confident that Alexis Sanchez will have his reunion with Pep Guardiola in the next 12 months – but the question is, when exactly?
Unless Lionel Messi decides not to sign his new Barcelona deal, Alexis will be the hottest free agent on the market next summer, and the likelihood is that City will get him despite competition, after he shunned interest from the likes of PSG and Bayern Munich this summer to hold out for an Etihad switch.
However, with just two natural strikers on the books in Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus, the Blues are slightly understaffed in that department, and were one to get seriously injured, it could be a long season.
And depending on how things look in January, City may try to land Alexis before they can take him for free in June. According to Martin Blackburn of The Sun, they will not pay over the odds and are unwilling to go above £20million for a player who will cost them nothing months later in 2018.
Arsenal could have pocketed £60million in the summer window but failed to secure a replacement for Sanchez when Thomas Lemar turned down a move to the Emirates. And now they can either cash in on him in January – which may depend on how he is performing by then – or lose him for nothing in less than a year’s time.
Unless of any surprises, Alexis Sanchez to City is almost nailed on, it’s just a question of when…