Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has risked the wrath of his former club’s fans by stating Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez should spurn their advances and join bitter rivals Manchester City.
The Manchester sides have emerged as the main suitors for the wantaway Chile forward, 29, as he enters the final six months of his contract.
Runaway Premier League champions City failed with a £60million (Dh302.7m) bid in the summer and have reportedly refused to meet the new financial demands of the player and club for the January transfer window, leading an opening for the second-placed Red Devils who have lodged a £25m (Dh126.1m) offer.
Ex-England centre-back Ferdinand, 39, won 14 trophies at Old Trafford from 2002-14. He, reluctantly, argued the Sky Blues now offer the better chance of gaining a large haul of silverware.
“I am going to be honest, if he has got an option to go from Arsenal to go to Manchester City or Manchester United, as a footballer who wanted to win trophies and would judge myself based on trophies being won, at the moment Manchester City looks like the place to go for him in that respect,” he told BT Sport about the player who has scored 80 goals in 165 appearances for the Gunners.
“They are top of the league, they are going to win the league this season, they are in the Champions League, they are looking like they will be in the final for the League cup, the FA Cup as well potentially. So he has got more opportunities to win trophies there.”
"Manchester City looks like the place to go for him."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 13, 2018
"That looked like it hurt." 😱
"When we get to the break, I'm going to speak to the lady and ask for some tissues." 😂@rioferdy5 on Alexis Sanchez's future... ️👀 pic.twitter.com/tWlwZSKwPN
Quadruple-chasing City sit 15 points ahead of United in the top flight. They only need to navigate a second leg at the Championship’s Bristol City – United’s shock conquerors in the quarter-finals – to make the League Cup’s showpiece, plus they are also among the favourites for the FA Cup and Champions League.
Asked whether the relative positions of the two teams hurt, Ferdinand replied: ‘When we get to the break, I’m going to speak to the lady and ask for some tissues. This isn’t good, this isn’t a good moment for me. This isn’t nice man.
“It’s where it’s at, Manchester City, you have to pay the respect that they are due, they are flying.”
Another advantage Ferdinand saw for City is the fact Sanchez worked under their revolutionary head coach Pep Guardiola at Barcelona after he was bought from Serie A’s Udinese in July 2011.
He said: “He knows Pep. If Pep wants him again now, I am sure he is thinking I am going to go there the second time round and I am going to do it properly this time.”
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