Manchester City will reportedly return for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in January but are "unlikely to bid more than £20 million" for the Chilean given his contract situation at the Emirates Stadium.
According to Martin Blackburn in the The Sun, City are "confident" of snapping up Sanchez, 28, in the next year but will not pay more than they feel is necessary for the former Barcelona man—who was signed for the Catalans by current Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola in 2011.
Sanchez is now in the last year of his contract with Arsenal and, assuming he does not commit to new terms, will be available for free next summer. He can also start negotiating with foreign clubs as early as January.
Per Blackburn, City will look to take advantage of Arsenal's likely desire to recoup at least some money on Sanchez by bidding no more than £20 million for him in January—they failed with a £60 million move for him late in the recent summer transfer window.
Matt Law in The Telegraph recently reported a number of top Premier League clubs believe City winger Raheem Sterling will soon be available for purchase as a result of Guardiola signing up Sanchez.
It seems that City are indeed planning to maintain their interest in Sanchez, but they are unlikely to be alone.
The Chile international is one of the most devastating attackers in the Premier League and arguably in world football.
Per WhoScored.com, he is able to both score goals and create them:
Alexis Sánchez: Was the only player to register double figures for both goals(2⃣4⃣) and assists (🔟) in the Premier League last season https://t.co/LHClSZJOz52017-8-31 13:30:01
It is rare that players of his calibre are allowed to enter the final year of a contract and potentially become available for a relatively cheap fee.
Arsenal tried to tie Sanchez to new terms throughout last season and will reportedly continue their efforts during the 2017/18 campaign, but confidence is not high that he will agree to a fresh contract, per The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson.
As a result, it's likely two factors will now decide where Sanchez ends up after Arsenal: First, whether the Gunners will look to earn a fee for him in January or keep him and lose him for free next summer, and second, which club can make the most attractive offer to the player himself.
If Sanchez is eager to stay in England, then City could be an attractive option as the Manchester outfit can offer him huge wages and a more realistic chance of Premier League title success than he has had at Arsenal.