Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has conceded defeat in his pursuit of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, admitting the Chile forward “is going to stay” at the Emirates until the summer.
Guardiola spoke after Manchester City’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace, which saw injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne, but hinted that Alexis might not be signed to cover for their recent loss of attacking options.
“I don’t know (what’s going to happen) but he’s a player of Arsenal and I think he is going to stay there. There is some time to ask me that but I have a lot of things to think about, because in two days we have another game,” he said, reports Sky Sports.
“In the internal meetings we are going to decide what is best. But my feeling now is that he’s an Arsenal player and he will be.” It’s fantastic news for Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger, although no guarantee another club won’t come in for him this month.
Recent performances have improved from the ex-Barcelona man, with Alexis scoring three goals in his last three Premier League games, playing his part in Arsenal’s six-game unbeaten run, but he may be open to a January move if a genuine offer is put to him.
Manchester City almost signed Alexis for £60m over the summer, before Arsenal pulled the plug on the deal due to their failure to secure a replacement in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar.
City’s interest has been constant since 2015, but Guardiola’s admission is positive news. Arsenal won’t want their best players distracted for the second-half of the season, as the aim is to get Champions League football back for 2018/19, and challenge for another domestic cup.
Having Alexis focused on his future, not long-term future, is key to Arsenal’s chances of success.