Dwight Yorke has described Alexis Sanchez as the “spark” Manchester United are missing, urging his former club to sign the coveted forward from Arsenal this month ahead of rivals Manchester City.
The club from the blue half of Manchester have been long-term suitors for the explosive attacker, but their neighbours from the red suburbs are increasingly interested in signing him during the winter transfer window.
Reports emerged on Friday that City had baulked at Arsenal’s alleged demands of £35m (Dh176.5m) for the Chile international in January, while agents are likely to receive another £5m on top, totaling a £40m deal, before the player’s potential wages are taken into account.
Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders are reported to be unwilling to go beyond £20m, given they could get former Barcelona man Sanchez for nothing when his contract expires in the summer.
That has seemingly alerted United, and former Red Devils striker Yorke says Jose Mourinho should definitely go for the deal.
“He will add value to the team. He’s got a spark that at times we are lacking,” the 46-year-old told Sport360 after competing in the Abu Dhabi Invitational at Yas Links Golf Club on Saturday.
“He’s come to the Premier League and been a success. He’s a great player and if United can get him, that will certainly give them a chance to win something at the end of the season.
“He’s a quality player. You want players to improve your team and Sanchez can do that to United.”
Although Sanchez leaving Arsenal for Old Trafford rather than the Etihad would be a blow for City and Guardiola, Yorke agreed United have a history of capitalising on opportunity.
Sir Alex Ferguson famously signed Roy Keane in the summer of 1993, agreeing a deal with the Irishman on a Saturday when a paperwork issue had prevented Keane from signing for Kenny Dalglish’s side the previous day.
And Yorke is not surprised to hear of United’s interest in a player he believes is one of the best in the world.
“What I can always say is United have always been interested in the best players out there,” added Yorke, who scored 65 goals in 147 games during his trophy-laden four-year spell at United.
“And Sanchez obviously is one of the best players, not only in the Premier League, but around the world. So it’s not a surprise that United would be trying to get him.
“United and Jose (Mourinho) both have form for that (capitalising on a situation), and why not. I don’t think anything’s complete. City showed interest in him before, but if there’s a chink in the armour, that’s always been part and parcel of football.
“It comes as no surprise, even though some may think it’s a bit of a cheap ploy.”
The last few days of the January transfer window has been dominated one name – Alexis Sanchez.
But nothing is quite so straightforward during transfer season and Manchester United threw a spanner in the works by making a late swoop for the Chilean.
While Jose Mourinho tries to beat City to the 29-year-old attacker, there are a few players who may be making for the Old Trafford exit.
Here are three United players who could leave the club this January.
The Dutchman has become the forgotten man at United. He’s only made five appearances in the Premier League this season and two of those were off the bench. His other 10 appearances this term have come in cup competitions.
Daley Blind has been exposed for his lack of pace when used at left-back this season, which is why Ashley Young has been preferred while Luke Shaw has been deployed in his absence.
In central defence as well, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and even Victor Lindelof are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
There has been interest from Inter Milan and the defender’s contract is set to expire in the summer. A move to Serie A would seem like a sensible one for the 27-year-old.
Despite his form last season, the Swede hasn’t been the same player since he briefly returned from a serious knee injury, only to revert to the treatment table.
Romelu Lukaku has taken over the lead striker role from the 36-year-old and while the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial haven’t been entrusted with relieving the Belgian too often but should United land Sanchez, he may finally be afforded more of a rest.
That would also serve to deem Ibrahimovic surplus to requirements, particularly given the enormous wages he’s on. There’s been some interest reported from Turkish sides Galatasaray and Besiktas and that could be the way to go for the striker if he’s desperate to keep playing in a starring role.
Speaking of Sanchez’s possible arrival, reports have suggested that Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be headed the other way in a player plus cash deal.
While it wouldn’t be a direct replacement for the Chilean from Arsenal’s perspective, it does help fill the void while also potentially guarding against the likely departure of Mesut Ozil whose contract runs out in the summer as well.
Mkhitaryan started the season with United in fine fettle but went off the boil just a few games into the campaign. Having been given time to regain his form and then to earn his place back in the first eleven, the Armenian has failed to impress.
With talk of United launching bids for the likes of Antoine Griezmann or Paulo Dybala in the summer, Mkhitaryan could well be shown the door before the end of the month.
PSG have made Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante their top target of the summer transfer window, according to Le 10 Sport .
The French publication are reporting that the Ligue 1 leaders are keen to find a long-term successor to Thiago Motta who is set to leave the club this summer.
Kante is believed to be Unai Emery’s key candidate for the role – with the French international attracted to the option of being back in his homeland.
The 26-year-old recently beat Kylian Mbappe to win the French Player of the Year award.
He has provided just one assist in 18 Premier League appearances this term for Chelsea.