Wenger: Arsenal not preparing Malcom bid

Bayern Munich

But stories broke ahead of Mourinho's Friday media briefing that City were unwilling to meet Arsenal's £35m asking price for Sanchez, opening up the prospect of a lucrative switch to Old Trafford for the Chile global.

"I think in two, three weeks, hopefully the day against Basel, the Champions League game, (he) could be fit, could be ready'" Guardiola said.

He added when pressed on whether Arsenal supporters should expect movement during the winter window: "I don't rule it out - at the back, in midfield or up front".

Arsene Wenger took an opportunity to send a message to wantaway star Alexis Sanchez on Friday after the Arsenal boss was cheekily asked if he'd prefer to play for Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho, who described Sanchez as a "phenomenal player", said: "I don't know if it's ethical or correct to be speaking about players of other clubs".

"Is he (Sanchez) replaceable in the way that we find exactly the same player?"

The Frenchman with a degree in economics believes players running their contracts down will become more prevalent.

City are keen to land him in the summer for free and United feel they can get the player now itself for the given amount and provide a new dimension to the team and have a shot in winning a trophy.

Malcom is wanted by a host of clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United.

In 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson was led to believe that Nasri would join United.

With Sanchez's wage demands around £300,000-a-week, City are prepared to pull the plug. The Dutch forward checked out houses in nearby Cheshire and Mancini was confident that he would go into the new season with a strike pairing of Van Persie and Sergio Aguero.

And while Jurgen Klopp is a confirmed admirer of the player from his former club, he could face stiff competition from Old Trafford this summer. A league title followed in his first season.

Both Nasri and Van Persie ended up at the Manchester club they were least expected to join when their respective transfer sagas began, so perhaps Sanchez will follow suit.

"I'd imagine they'd need to bring people in to strengthen in those positions - the Ozil and Sanchezs of this world".

The Red Devils are also interested in signing Alexis Sanchez, though Manchester City still appear likelier to win that transfer battle.

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