Manchester United are newly confident of beating Manchester City to the signing of Alexis Sanchez, as the Chilean was dropped from the Arsenal squad for their trip to Bournemouth amid expectations that Arsene Wenger will sanction a sale in the next 48 hours.
Those close to the deal even believe that United are now “considerable favourites”.
While City have not yet walked away from the deal, they have so far made it clear they will not meet the £35m asking price for the player, or pay high agent fees of up to £10m.
Manchester United’s January transfer targets
United are willing to do so, and pay Sanchez up to £400,000-a-week, and have also played on this and the knowledge that the player is so desperate to move as soon as possible.
City by contrast are insisting on a patient and resilient stance to strike what they see as a fair deal for a 29-year-old, and are prepared to walk away.
It is understood that United have upped the pressure over the 24 hours, as they also feel City won’t up their deal. There is also a feeling by some at Old Trafford that Arsenal would prefer to sell to them.
Premier League transfer round up 12th January: Manchester clubs battle over Sanchez
Since Wenger is now so willing to let the player go – and it is understood Arsenal also have a replacement lined in Bordeaux’s Malcolm – that indicates that there is still an element of prevarication with the player.