Alexis Sanchez: Man City boss Pep Guardiola still keen to sign Arsenal striker

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Alexis Sanchez and Pep Guardiola
Manchester City ended their pursuit of Sanchez after the Gunners fail to secure a replacement

Manchester City remain keen on Alexis Sanchez but may wait until the summer before making another attempt to sign the Arsenal forward.

City had a bid accepted for the 29-year-old Chilean on deadline day in August but the move collapsed.

Blues manager Pep Guardiola has discussed transfer targets for the next 18 months with the club's hierarchy.

There are fears signing Sanchez in January could disturb the balance of Guardiola's table-topping squad.

It is understood City think Arsenal believe keeping the former Barcelona player was a mistake and would be willing to do business next month.

However, with Guardiola's side 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League, there is a feeling bringing in Sanchez then may cause disruption.

City and Arsenal agreed a deal for the striker in the summer, but it was dependent on the Gunners replacing him.

When they were unable to sign Monaco forward Thomas Lemar, Sanchez's move was scuppered.

It is felt he still wants to work with Guardiola and, despite interest from Paris St-Germain among others, would join City at the end of the season, when he will be available on a free transfer.

With midfielder Yaya Toure's contract expiring in the summer, Guardiola would like to sign a defensive midfielder, a central defender and another attacker to take him through to the end of the 2018-19 season.

Talks have taken place over Southampton's Virgil van Dijk, while West Brom's Jonny Evans - who City were keen to sign in the summer - and Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez are possible alternatives.

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