Manchester United have emerged as rivals to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City for the signature of Arsenal contract rebel Alexis Sanchez during the January transfer window.
Long-term admirers City had seemed in pole position to capture Sanchez, whose Gunners contract expires at the end of the season, but United have made their move to gazump their foes.
It is understood that United have offered £25m for Sanchez, compared to City’s £20m, while floating the possibility of Armenia’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal as part of the deal.
Sanchez agreed to join Pep Guardiola’s City during the summer, only for the transfer to collapse after Arsenal failed in their bid to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco as a replacement.
United manager Jose Mourinho is thought to be confident of luring Sanchez, who has scored eight goals for the north Londoners this term, to Old Trafford despite the 29-year-old previously playing under Guardiola while at Barcelona.
Mourinho has, however, been dealt a blow in his quest to sign Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon after the west London club insisted that the 17-year-old would not be leaving this month.
“As it’s been the subject of a great deal of speculation, I’d like to announce that Ryan Sessegnon is staying with Fulham and will not be departing this January transfer window,” said head of football operations Shahid Khan.
“Ryan is a very important part of the Fulham family, and we’re grateful that he’ll be with us as we fight to achieve promotion this season.”
Valencia, meanwhile, have confirmed the signing of Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin for a fee in the region of £12m. Coquelin has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the La Liga outfit.