Manchester United could well start the 2018-19 season with Arsenal’s current strike force, as the club still plan to try and sign Mesut Ozil on a free in a summer, even if they get Alexis Sanchez in this window.
Jose Mourinho could thereby be the biggest beneficiary of Arsene Wenger’s struggle to get a raft of players to sign new deals, as the Portuguese manager could well end up with the Emirates’ two biggest stars.
United’s initial plan had been to move for Ozil in the summer when his current deal expires, and there had been a widespread expectation that Sanchez would go to City.
Manchester United’s January transfer targets
That changed in the last few days, when it became apparent that a punt by the club could lead to something more.
While they were initially just testing the waters in letting it be known they would trump their neighbours for Sanchez, the Old Trafford hierarchy found it could be much more possible than they had anticipated, due to the Chilean’s impatience at getting out of Arsenal.
They had felt his first choice was City and the chance to work with Pep Guardiola, but have now seen that stance is flexible.
If they do pull off what would be a significant coup, United will still go for Ozil.
Mourinho sees the German as a potentially key piece in his system