Alexis Sanchez has not travelled to Bournemouth with the rest of the Arsenal squad for Sunday’s Premier League encounter at the Vitality Stadium as he looks to force through a move away from the club this month, with Manchester United moving ahead of Manchester City as front-runners for his signature.
The 29-year-old forward has cut a controversial figure this season amid accusations from fans and critics that he had downed tools for the club in what is the final year of his current contract. Sanchez’s form over the last month has improved considerably, but it comes as he attempts to leave the club six months before becoming a free agent.
City were seen as the unrivalled contenders to sign him during the January transfer window, but their decision this week to refuse to meet Arsenal’s £35m asking price – and not go over £20m due to his availability in the summer for nothing – has opened the door for United to try and prise him away.
Manchester United’s January transfer targets
It appears that a conclusion to the transfer saga is nearing after Arsene Wenger left Sanchez out of his squad for Sunday’s trip to the south coast, despite playing a full part in training on Friday and not suffering any obvious injury.
It’s understood that he is currently trying to force through a move to United following City’s easing-off on Friday, and any completed deal would prove to be a huge coup for the red half of Manchester as they look to try and haul in their fierce rivals and the 15-point gap that has emerged at the top of the Premier League table.
United are believed to have surged ahead of City largely thanks to the size of the contract offer that they are willing to make, with a reported £350,000-a-week deal on the table to make the Chilean the highest-paid player in the Premier League.