MANCHESTER CITY have pulled out of the race for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, according to reports.
The unhappy Gunners star appears set to leave the Emirates in the coming days, with Arsene Wenger admitting his future would be decided “in the next 48 hours”.
Pep Guardiola had long been linked with a move for his former player, who has just six months remaining on his current deal.
Man City had been willing to pay up to £20million, but Arsenal are holding out for £35m.
Manchester United appear ready to pay that much.
According to Goal, City have now ruled themselves out of a move for the Chilean.
The final straw apparently came when Sanchez’s agent, Fernando Felicevich, told the City hierarchy that rivals United are willing to pay more in wages and fees.
City, who had been in talks with Felicevich for a while, are said to have been left unimpressed by Sanchez’s increased wage demands so late in negotiations.
Pep Guardiola is believed to be fine with the decision to give up on the forward, despite his long-standing interest – the City boss is happy to move on as he now believes Sanchez is not 100 per cent committed to playing for him.
City had agreed a £60m deal with Arsenal on deadline day which collapsed when Arsene Wenger failed to bring in Thomas Lemar from Monaco.
In recent days, Sanchez has indicated he is happy to move to Old Trafford.
City had believed that United’s interest in Sanchez may not have been genuine.
Paris Saint-Germain were also interested but Felicevich’s demands also put them off.
They did not put United off, however.
With City and PSG no longer in the race, Jose Mourinho’s club are the clear favourites to sign the 29-year-old.
It looks likely that United will be able to complete a deal this week.
Sanchez was left out of the Arsenal squad that lost to Bournemouth on Sunday.
Speaking after the defeat, Wenger said Sanchez’s future would be settled soon.
“I don’t master the rhythm of it, but it could happen today, tomorrow or not at all,” said Wenger.
“It will be decided in the next 48 hours.”