The Barcelona forward looks set to be involved in one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, with the Sky Blues becoming the latest club to register interest in the star
By Paul Clennam
Manchester City have asked Barcelona to keep them abreast of developments on the situation of forward Alexis Sanchez, as the Premier League’s elite clubs consider bids for the Chile international, Goal understands.
Arsenal, as exclusively revealed by Goal on Saturday, head the list of interested parties, with Liverpool and Manchester United also monitoring Sanchez’s future. But City are considering a big-money move themselves, despite facing a €61 million [£49m] spending cap this summer as a result of the fine handed to them by Uefa following their Financial Fair Play transgressions last year.
That has prompted a rethink in City’s transfer strategy, with the club now considering a cut-price move for a defender to free up cash to spend on Sanchez, after having already signed Porto midfielder Fernando for €15m [£12m].
Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala is still very much in the Premier League champions’ thoughts, while they have also weighed up a €31m [£25m] move for Roma’s Mehdi Benatia.
But manager Mauricio Pellegrini believes a move for Davide Astori, the 27-year-old Cagliari and Italy centre-back, for around €7.5m [£6m] could supplement the free transfer of Bacary Sagna and make more financial sense allied with a move for Sanchez.
And with Pellegrini currently in Brazil working for television station TV Chile and based close to the national team’s hotel, he could be ready to use his privileged access if given the green light by Barca.
The future of Yaya Toure could also play a part in any bid for Sanchez, with the Ivorian’s future up in the air at Eastlands.
Yaya has claimed City did not allow him time away from a club trip to Abu Dhabi following the end of the season to be by the side of his brother Ibrahim, who died of cancer earlier in June.
Toure’s advisor Dimitri Seluk also suggested the midfielder was unhappy with the club’s failure to acknowledge his birthday, and talks between the club and player have been scheduled after the 31-year-old’s three-week break following his involvement in the World Cup with the Ivory Coast.
And should Barcelona consider a swap involving Suarez and Yaya Toure, the wheels of a move could be greased more swiftly.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United could all provide serious competition for the 25-year-old’s signature, though, with all three ready to meet the asking price of around €40m [£32m].
With a quartet of big Premier League sides interested, and Juventus also in the hunt, Sanchez could be involved in the key transfer saga of the summer.