According to The Sun's Phil Thomas and Neil Ashton, Sanchez snubbed United, who bid £25 million plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan for his services, despite the Red Devils being prepared to hand him a higher salary than the £275,000 per week he will receive at City.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker believes the deal United are reportedly offering would be attractive to Arsenal:
Gary Lineker @GaryLineker
Interesting turn of events with Manchester United coming in for Sanchez, with Mkhitaryan going the other way. Can see the appeal for both clubs. United get a top player, and stop him going to City, and Arsenal get an excellent footballer in place of someone who wants away.2018-1-11 13:35:24
Mkhitaryan is low on confidence and struggling under Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho, but if he could recapture the form he displayed during his final season at Borussia Dortmund—he bagged 23 goals and 32 assists during the 2015/16 campaign—he would be a sensational player for Arsenal.
The offer may well appeal to the Gunners, but Sanchez will be the one to decide on his next destination, and he has his heart set on working with manager Pep Guardiola, according to Thomas and Ashton.
The Sky Blues were said to be willing to wait to sign him for free in the summer, but their plans have been accelerated by Gabriel Jesus' MCL injury. Therefore, bringing him in during the January transfer window would be ideal.
However, their offer of £20 million is well short of Arsenal's £35 million price tag.
The Mirror's John Cross believes talk of a bid from United is designed to coax City into meeting the Gunners' demands:
John Cross @johncrossmirror
Can’t help but think Sanchez is using Man United interest to get a better deal from Man City. Discussions taken place between City and Arsenal, no bid from United. Still think Sanchez will go to City.2018-1-11 22:22:24
Football writers Jordan-Luke McDonald and Ryan Baldi came to similar conclusions:
Ryan Baldi @RyanBaldiFW
@ByJordanLuke @rkelly93 My guess is that it’s Sanchez’s people trying to spook City into upping their offer for him now.2018-1-11 14:27:20
It would represent a significant U-turn if Sanchez were to do anything other than move to the Etihad Stadium.
The quality and variety of options available to Guardiola—even with Jesus out injured—means they are not in desperate need of landing Sanchez in January. But the Chile international's arrival would enhance their chances of enjoying a historic campaign, as they are in the hunt for four trophies.