Manchester City are apparently ready to walk away from a deal to sign Alexis in January due to financial demands, but are they really or is Pep Guardiola just up to his old tricks?

Manchester City have done a masterful job of unsettling Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal lost their best player in the summer without getting a penny for him, or an adequate replacement, while they also had to keep picking a player who most definitely didn’t want to be playing for them.

City have deployed Barcelona tactics to wonderful affect, Pep Guardiola once again managing to be a massive disrespectful cnut without anything sticking to his bald head.

He refuses to discuss Alexis Sanchez in his press conferences to present the illusion of respecting Arsenal, but, in reality, all Pep respects is himself.

For those who don’t remember the campaign waged against Arsenal to get Cesc Fabregas, a player with years left on his contract, for absolute peanuts, there is an excellent timeline of the whole thing here. Be warned –  if you read it, you will be furious – even if you think you remember it well.

During that whole saga, Barcelona repeatedly insisted that Fabregas, then just 24 and captain of Arsenal with three years still remaining on the eight-year deal he signed in 2006 was worth no more than €35m – an amount above what they actually paid for him in the end. They then, of course, slapped a €200m release clause on a player they had been adamant was worth no more than €35m.

Now City are trying to force Alexis to do their dirty work for them to get Arsenal to lower their price. They want him for no more than £20m. I wonder how much his release clause will be when he eventually signs.

Alexis is desperate to move to City. Guardiola no doubt knows if they threaten to walk away once again, Alexis is more likely to push Arsenal into finding a way to let him go this month.

Arsenal want £35m for the player – just a little under what they paid for him in 2014 when transfer fees weren’t completely insane. But his agent also wants £5m according to the BBC bringing the total amount to £40m, and that’s before you take his wages into consideration.

He is, of course, available for free in the summer, but a lot can happen in the final months of a season that can derail any career. Alexis is not a man who has treated his body to plenty of rest and relaxation, nor has he suffered anything you might call a ‘major’ injury throughout his career. Yet.

City know that the player will be nervous about the deal not happening, and they think that threatening to walk away will scare both the player and Arsenal into thinking they will get nothing for him.

Arsene Wenger seems to be prepared for this and has been adamant all along that he would rather lose him for nothing than sell him mid-season (apart from when he totally caved on deadline day). These threats won’t work on him.

On Alexis, however, who is more driven by his emotions than people are prepared to talk about, could be very susceptible to these sorts of tactics.

After all, City already got inside his head once to great effect. After you do that, you only have to push the door lightly to get back in any time you want.