Manchester City round-up: Rivals join Sanchez race; midfielder praises squad depth; Carabao Cup victory reaction
You can never go too long without speculation over Alexis Sanchez’s future popping up, and the latest reports claim that Manchester United will rival Manchester City for his signature next year.
The Sun have alleged that Jose Mourinho will try and steal the Chilean from under the noses of United’s neighbours, with the Portuguese boss already being quoted a £25million signing-on fee for Sanchez.
Whilst an official pre-contract agreement can’t be made until January as it would involve a transfer between two Premier League sides, an initial verbal agreement can be put in place for the deal.
Yet it is thought that Sanchez still has his heart set on a reunion with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, after seeing a proposed £60 million move fall through during deadline day.
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph has praised the squad that Guardiola has been building since his arrival at the Etihad last season, claiming that there’s now ‘two for every position’.
The former Barcelona manager invested over £200million into his squad in the transfer window just gone, adding some youth to the Blues, and it’s reaped its rewards already as City sit top of the table.
Talking to the club website, Delph said: “The mood’s like you can imagine. The boys are flying and the new guys that have come in have been terrific, we seem to be gelling nicely as a team.
“It’s a tremendous squad, I think we’ve got two players in most positions. It’s very healthy competition wise, and it’s always healthy to have a squad that can rotate.”
And that strength in depth that Delph was talking about was on full show at the Hawthorns on Wednesday night as Manchester City ran out 2-1 winners in an entertaining tie with West Brom.
Leroy Sane gave the visitors an early lead as Guardiola rang the changes, giving Ilkay Gundogan, Eliaquim Mangala, Yaya Toure and Delph himself their respective first starts of the new campaign.
It looked as if the game might be heading towards extra-time when Claudio Yacob grabbed a late equaliser but – for the second time in three games – Sane hit a brace to secure safe passage for City.
Speaking to the Manchester City website post-match, Guardiola said: “I thought we played very well in the first half when we scored and probably should have gone into half-time two or three goals ahead with the chances we created.
“In the second half, we were under pressure because if you concede corners and free-kicks against West Brom it is very difficult.”
It wasn’t all good news as far as the Blues were concerned though, with Gundogan – making his first start for over ten months – pounding the ground in apparent agony after a strong tackle from Claudio Yacob.
Nonetheless, the City boss played down any concerns, and added: “You cannot imagine what it is like to be out for eight months, fighting every day alone with the physio and come back and to be injured, in that moment it’s so tough to accept that.
“It’s football and fortunately it’s not serious. I spoke with him. It’s okay. He had a little bit pain in his knee. We are going to see tomorrow, the doctor might clarify what he has.”
After seeing off Premier League opposition last night the Blues will now face a fourth-round tie against Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad in the week beginning October 23.