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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has all but conceded defeat in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez.
He said he expected the Arsenal star to sign for Manchester United and indicated that, as had already been widely reported, money was the key factor. City’s hierarchy were unwilling to match United’s bid for a player who is due to be out of contract at the end of the season.
Speaking at his press conference this afternoon, Guardiola told reporters: “I am not the guy with the numbers, what I know right now is that Alexis is an Arsenal player and I think he’ll go to United so congratulations to both of them and good luck.
“My option of Alexis remains the same, I wish him all the best.”
Sanchez, aged 29, is expected to finalise a transfer to United within the coming days, with Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving to the Emirates Stadium in part-exchange.
City had long appeared favourites to sign the Chile international, who had previously worked with Guardiola at Barcelona. They nearly signed him on transfer deadline day at the end of the last window, but a £60m deal collapsed when Arsenal failed to land Monaco’s Thomas Lemar as his replacement.