City manager Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his admiration for the Chile striker who he signed while in charge of Barcelona in 2011 and senior sources at the club have confirmed there is strong interest.
Reports in Chile claimed yesterday that Alexis Sanchez, 28, has already has made up his mind he wants to quit the Emirates and is “close” to a re-union with Guardiola rather than join Chelsea or Manchester United.
He has only a year left on his contract with Arsenal and has been stalling on signing a new one.
Pep Guardiola wants to reunite with Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has made his mind up where he wants to go
If he fails to commit, Arsenal will have no option but to sell because they risk losing him for nothing in 2018.
If Sanchez arrives at the Etihad, it would raise question marks over the future of leading scorer Sergio Aguero.
But Guardiola is understood to want to keep the 28-goal Argentinian to play with Sanchez and Brazilian youngster Gabriel Jesus in an all-South American front three – like the Barcelona’s much-vaunted triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
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Guardiola compared Aguero and Sanchez before City’s recent trip to Arsenal, saying: “Sergio is more of a [out-an-out] striker than Alexis.
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"Alexis can play as a striker but he can play more roles. He can also play on both sides. Both are top players, great competitors and so dangerous.
“I was with Alexis for one year in Barcelona. Now I’m here with Sergio. So I know their qualities.”
Despite City having scored 101 goals in all competitions this season, Guardiola has been unhappy with his team’s chance-to-goal conversion rate in certain games this season.
After the 3-1 win over Hull on Saturday, he said: “We need to be better in both boxes.
"It shows us that we have to work to do more on this, or go out and look for players that will help us be stronger next season.”