Arsenal legend Martin Keown has branded money-mad Alexis Sanchez the “biggest mercenary in football” after he abandoned his dream to reunite with Pep Guardiola in favour of a £500,000-a-week move to Manchester United.
The Premier League leaders had outlined an agreement with the 29-year-old going back to the summer, with Alexis having his heart set on a move to City.
And the Blues were ready to renew their bid to sign the Chilean this month, before his agent bumped up the financial demands – which Manchester United were happy to meet.
Pep Guardiola is said to only want players who buy into what he is trying to build, and with Kevin De Bruyne set to become the club’s top earner on around £250,000-a-week, handing out double that to Alexis Sanchez could have impacted the tight-knit squad at City.
And Keown, in a Q&A with the Daily Mail believes Alexis’ decision to join Manchester United over the league’s great entertainers says a lot about the player.
“Sanchez has got to be the biggest mercenary in football.
“Manchester City have wanted to sign Sanchez since the summer and, if no deal is done in January, they will be waiting for him at the end of the season.
“City would be the natural place for Sanchez to go to develop his football. He has worked with Pep Guardiola before.
“But for Sanchez, this is clearly not about going to the best team, working with Guardiola and taking his game to another level.
“He has probably thought that he will not get a better offer if he waits until the summer, so he might as well take the best deal on offer now. It has been all about the money.”
City are now expected to hold fire until the summer before reinforcing their forward line, with names such as Antoine Griezmann mentioned in recent days, but there is unlikely to be a clear decision yet on who Guardiola will target as an Alexis Sanchez alternative.
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