Manchester City seem set to miss out on transfer target Alexis Sanchez as Champions League winners Barcelona are now heavy favourites to sign the highly-rated Chilean winger.
Sanchez was an integral member of the Udinese team that finished fourth in Serie A this season, which means that they will enter the final qualification round for the Champions League in the next campaign.
However, they may still struggle to keep hold of their star names as both Sanchez and Gokhan Inler seem set to move on to pastures new.
Barcelona appears the most likely destination for Sanchez, with reports in Spain highlighting subtle differences as to what offer Pep Guardiola will make to capture the 22-year-old.
It is believed that Barcelona will offer no more than €30m for Sanchez, although they are prepared to include attackers Bojan Krkic and Jeffren in any such deal.
Manchester City may be able to offer Udinese a bigger transfer sum and Sanchez better wages, but the lure of joining a team that has won the Champions League three times in six seasons may be too hard to turn down.
Sanchez recently told Futbol: “Barcelona would be a splendid destination. I want to progress, play and win important trophies and to do this you need to play for the most prestigious clubs. Therefore I hope to have this chance.”
Barcelona’s odds are 1/2 to win La Liga next season and the capture of Sanchez to offer another option in the wide areas should only boost their chances further.
Meanwhile, Barcelona still seem interested in signing Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas and he would certainly add some greater depth to the middle of a midfield that already has undoubted quality.
The news is not great for a Manchester City team also likely to lose star striker Carlos Tevez ahead of next season.