Manchester City will not entertain the idea of giving Arsenal cash for Alexis Sanchez in January and plan to take him for nothing next summer, Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror reports.
The Chilean is still hopeful of joining Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, but it is reported that City are still angry at Arsenal over their etiquette on transfer deadline day when they agreed to sell Alexis to City, with a fee agreed, only to renege when their attempts to sign his replacement, Thomas Lemar, collapsed.
Instead, unless of an unforeseen long-term injury before the end of January to one of the attacking stars, or a rival suitor making a bid for Sanchez in January, City will hand the 28-year-old a big signing-on fee in the summer and sign him on a free transfer.
City will focus on a left-back in the January window rather than Alexis and the Sunday Mirror claims that they are hopeful of striking a £10million deal for Napoli star Faouzi Ghoulam, despite a recent report from Italy that they had cooled their interest.
Ghoulam is out of contract in the summer and still yet to renew, but Napoli’s bid to win Serie A for the first time since 1990 could complicate City’s effort to snatch their left-back. It could be that eliminating Napoli from the Champions League could help City’s cause, as the Serie A side would then only have the league to focus on.
Simon Mullock also reports that City have no immediate plans to sign a new centre-back, despite further fitness problems for captain Vincent Kompany. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have formed a good partnership in the heart of City’s defence, but when Kompany is sidelined, Pep Guardiola’s only options to call upon are Eliaquim Mangala and youngster Tosin Adarabioyo. However, any pursuit of a centre-back is likely to wait until next summer.