Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly told former Barcelona technical director Txiki Begiristain that he will make Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez his first signing when he takes over at Manchester City next summer, according a story from Spanish sports news outlet Fichajes (via Daily Express).
We don’t know for sure whether Guardiola will even end up at the Etihad, what we can say for certain however, is that Guardiola’s current contract with the Bundesliga champions is up next summer and so far Bayern Munich have been unable to get the 44-year-old former Catalan manager to commit to an extension of his current deal.
And while Sheikh Mansour and his Abu Dhabi oil money would have no trouble paying whatever Guardiola wants, it is being able to link up with his former Nou Camp compatriots at the Etihad that could appeal to Guardiola the most.
Manchester City’s Chief Executive Officer is former Barca man Ferran Soriano, while Txiki Begiristain is the clubs Sporting Director in charge of recruitment.
Guardiola signed Sanchez for Barcelona from Italian Serie A side Udinese after being impressed by the Chilean international’s exploits during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and now wants to bring him to the Etihad when he takes over in the summer, according to the Metro.
Manchester City have a history of tempting players away from Arsenal by offering them huge salaries, as former Gunners Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, and Bacary Sagna can all attest to. This time things are different however, with Arsenal no longer willing to allow the best players to leave – which in the case of Sanchez is a non-starter anyway, as he loves playing for Arsenal.
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Sanchez has just returned from a brief spell in Chile where he was being treated for a hamstring sprain he picked up in the match against Norwich at Carrow Road a fortnight ago, but Wenger is optimistic that he will be fit and ready to take on City when the two teams meet for their top of the table clash on December 21st.
“He is back on Sunday, he trains on Monday morning at 9.30am,” Wenger explained (via talkSPORT).
“He is running already… I sent him back to Chile, where he has been running with the physio of the national team, and we will see what kind of state he is in next week.
“He may be a bit short for City, certainly, but with Alexis you never know.”
Hopefully Wenger has got it wrong this time, and we have the talismanic forward fit and firing for our top of the table clash with Manchester City.