Manchester City round-up: French club's Sanchez advantage; Gundogan injury update; Guardiola on Crystal Palace
It’s the case of another day, another Alexis Sanchez story in the papers as The Sun have claimed on Friday morning that French side Paris Saint-Germain are set to rival Manchester City for the Chilean.
Big-spending PSG will hold the advantage in any race for Sanchez, with the Premier League side unable to engage in talks with Arsenal until next summer due to it being an inter-league signing.
By contrast, the French side will be able to open negotiations with the Gunners from as early as January should they act on their reported interest, giving them the upper hand over Pep Guardiola.
An unnamed source has allegedly said: “City’s pursuit of Alexis could be in trouble. Pep is sure he wants to join the club but Paris are sniffing.
“They still have the funds to sign him and can beat City’s wage offer. They will also pay him a huge signing on fee.”
The report claims that the 28-year-old forward met with PSG chiefs in Paris a few months back to address the potential for a move to France, but Sanchez’s £400,000-a-week demands were too high.
In other news, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola received a big boost yesterday as the tests carried out on midfielder Ilkay Gundogan have confirmed that no significant damage has been done.
The 26-year-old was making his first start in a City shirt for over ten months in the Carabao Cup victory over West Brom, but a challenge from Claudio Yacob left him pounding the ground in pain.
A statement on the official City website has eased fears though, detailing: “The German midfielder underwent tests this [Thursday] morning after being taken off during the Carabao Cup victory at the Hawthorns and the Club’s medical staff found no significant damage.
“It is too early at this stage to give an exact time frame on his absence but he is expected to be back on the training field in the coming days.”
Gundogan will miss Manchester City’s home encounter with a struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon but boss Guardiola has warned against his side being complacent against the bottom side.
Palace are yet to earn a point – and yet to score a goal – in over 450 minutes of action so far this season, whilst the Blues have been rampant on their way to scoring 16 goals in their five matches.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, as per City’s Twitter, he said: “In the Premier League every team can beat the other one. [Palace] have quality. Second balls, crosses, set pieces. It will be similar to West Brom.”
Manchester City will kick-off at the same time as neighbours Manchester United on Saturday, with both sides currently holding identical records – including respective points, goals scored and goals conceded.