Manchester City are set to test Arsenal’s resolve over keeping Alexis Sanchez by making a concerted effort to sign the forward this month.
City were originally prepared to wait until the summer in the belief Sanchez had set his heart on a move to Etihad Stadium and a reunion with former manager Pep Guardiola.
However, Standard Sport understands that stance has now changed due to a number of factors, not least a serious injury to Gabriel Jesus, who will be sidelined for around six weeks after sustaining knee ligament damage.
Sanchez has also attracted interest from a number of other clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, who are free to negotiate with his representatives directly given he has entered the final six months of his contract at Arsenal.
Liverpool could also revive their interest, having tried to sign him when he left Barcelona for Arsenal in 2014, with money to spend following the £142million sale of Philippe Coutinho to the Catalan club.
Manager Arsene Wenger is increasingly resigned to losing Sanchez, although he has publicly stated the Chile international will not be sold this month unless “something unbelievable” happens.
Arsenal are believed to be demanding around £40m for Sanchez but City believe a deal can be struck for less.
However, City will be encouraged by Sanchez’s omission from Arsenal’s embarrassing FA Cup third-round exit at Nottingham Forest yesterday as it means he will not be Cup-tied for the latter stages.
Reports in Chile suggest this decision was at the behest of City but it is believed Wenger had planned to leave out Sanchez in any case as part of wholesale changes to give several players a breather following the busy Christmas period.