Manchester City were favourites to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, last summer, this month and even in the summer. However, it seems the Chilean is now heading for their arch-rivals Manchester United after the Citizens pulled out of the race.
Big spending City were not prepared to pay the reported £500,000 per week that United are set to offer the Arsenal star. That seems strange for a club that have built a team on big spending.
Guardiola did not want to unsettle the team
However, there is another reason behind City not signing Sanchez, apart from financial. The Catalan boss said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game with Newcastle:
“Normally we try to be stable with the wages of the players because I think it is good for the team and stability of the club,”
“In the past, what the club did, was at that price. What happened last summer, everything increased amazingly. You have to adapt to that. I think the price in the summertime will be higher than this winter. Sometimes you have to anticipate that.
“We’ve spent a lot of money, we can’t deny that, but I’ve never put pressure on a club when they believe it is too much. Immediately I accept that decision and move forward to find another solution.
“The stability of the club is the most important thing,”
The former Barcelona boss’ has a good point. City have a good balance at the moment. If City would have offered the figures that United are set to give Sanchez, then it may have caused problems amongst the players already in the squad.
He would be the biggest earner, on higher wages than the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, who have been superb for City this season.
City does not need Sanchez
It could be argued that Manchester City do not need Alexis Sanchez. Who would he replace in the city team? The Citizens have a vibrant young team with the likes of De Bruyne, Sterling and Leroy Sane all shining in recent months.
It would have been harsh for Sanchez to come into the City squad and replace anybody already in the team. The Citizens have streaked clear at the top of the Premier League table largely due to their formidable attacking play.
Sterling has scored 14 top-flight goals, while Aguero has scored 13 times and Sane has scored seven times. It is hard to see where Sanchez would have fitted in at City.
Sanchez is no doubt a good player. However, I am not sure that he would have started every game at City with the attacking options already available to Guardiola.
City the favourites to beat Newcastle
Manchester City without Sanchez, of course, will look to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season against Liverpool last time out, with a victory over Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium in today’s late kick-off. The home side are red-hot favourites to win the game at odds of 1/8.
Guardiola’s men are likely to fancy their chances of continuing their prolific form in front of goal this season. The Citizens are fantastic to watch going forward and Sanchez would have added to that threat.
However, signing Sanchez may well have unsettled an already very settled and dangerous team at the Etihad Stadium. I am sure that Pep Guardiola will not lose any sleep over the fact that the Chilean will not be joining his squad.
I am sure that City will once again show against Newcastle that they have enough attacking talent to cope without another attacking addition.
Will Manchester City regret not signing Alexis Sanchez?
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