If anyone at Manchester United had their ego bruised by the brusqueness with which Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil brushed aside speculation that the Premier League champions wanted to sign him, then Wednesday’s gossip should cheer them up.
The Daily Mirror are claiming that Alexis Sanchez, arguably the star attraction on this summer’s transfer merry-go-round, has decided that Manchester United are the club for him as he prepares to leave Udinese having led them into the Champions League.
Making the potential signing even sweeter for the Red Devils is the fact that neighbours Manchester City and Champions League Final conquerors Barcelona are known admirers of the 22-year-old and both at one stage looked like completing a swoop for him.
The Chilean forward, who first impressed on a global stage at last year’s World Cup, is expected to cost around £27 million if the 19-time title winners are able to close a deal, despite prior reports that Udinese were hoping to pocket £35 million.
It was suggested over the weekend that Sir Alex Ferguson had phoned Sanchez in an attempt to convince him to ignore the interest of Barcelona and head to Old Trafford and the latest rumours indicate that the player listened closely.
His arrival would be a huge show of intent by Manchester United after a disappointing end to an otherwise great season and would strengthen their position as 7/4 title favourites, as well as potentially boosting their 6/1 Champions League odds.
What it would mean for the future of several current stars is unclear though. Sanchez can operate out wide or as a second striker so his capture would give Nani and Dimitar Berbatov reason to panic, especially as Ashley Young is also anticipated to join.
Interestingly, Sanchez is still priced at 5/1 to be at Manchester United come September, with Manchester City (6/4), Barcelona (3/1) and Udinese (7/2) all considered more likely homes.