Arsenal propose Raheem Sterling swap deal with Manchester City for Alexis Sanchez
Chilean forward's future has been the subject of intense speculation throughout the summer
Manchester City hope to conclude a deal for Alexis Sanchez before the transfer window closes.
They approached Arsenal in an attempt to sign the Chilean forward, who has turned down a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal responded by proposing a swap deal involving Raheem Sterling, though City’s preference is for a cash-only deal that would see Sanchez move north and would allow them to keep the former Liverpool player.
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City are not trying to sell Sterling, who has scored in their last two league games, though they are conscious that the 22-year-old England international may prefer a move if competition for places in attack increases should they succeed in their bid for Sanchez.
Sterling started the first two matches of the season on the bench, though he struck as a substitute to earn City a point against Everton last week.
He was of interest to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger when he left Liverpool in 2015, though City ended up signing the winger for an initial £44 million (Dh209.3m).
That interest has been renewed with Arsenal, who are also selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Chelsea, perhaps worried they would not be able to secure another replacement for Sanchez in the final few days of the window after Wenger admitted defeat in his attempt to bring in Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar.
Sterling was born in Jamaica, but grew up in north London, a few miles from the Emirates Stadium. He has scored 23 goals in 97 games in two years at the Etihad Stadium, but his final action as a City player may prove to be Saturday’s 97th-minute winner at Bournemouth, which was followed by a controversial red card for his celebrations.
Sanchez has been City’s major attacking target this summer and Arsenal denied reports from his native Chile that he had submitted a transfer request following their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday. However, he has apparently left the national team’s training camp, where they are preparing to face Paraguay on Thursday, to try and sort out a move.
He had attracted interest from Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the summer but the French club have instead signed Neymar for a world-record fee and are closing in on a deal for Kylian Mbappe.
Wenger has remained adamant he will not sell Sanchez, though Arsenal risk losing a player valued at £50m on a free transfer next summer.
Pep Guardiola was Barcelona manager when Sanchez joined the Catalan club and has remained an admirer of the Chilean, who scored 24 goals and earned 10 assists in the Premier League last season.
City have already made five major signings in the summer transfer window, bringing in midfielder Bernardo Silva, goalkeeper Ederson and full-backs Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo.
They are also pursuing a central defender, with West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans their major target. The Northern Ireland international has also attracted interest from Leicester, with Albion rejecting bids from both clubs so far.
Updated: August 29, 2017 06:20 PM