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Udinese star Alexis Sanchez will spurn the opportunity to join either Manchester United or Manchester City in favour of a dream £32 million move to Barcelona, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Sanchez’s impressive form for his club this season has confirmed his status as one of the hottest young properties in European football, and Italian giants Juventus and Inter were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature.
It is understood that Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo held talks with delegates from all five clubs, including United and City chief executives David Gill and Garry Cook, in an attempt to find out which of the interested parties were willing to match the club’s asking price for the 22-year-old.
Barcelona’s previous offer of cash plus striker Bojan Krkic had previously failed due to the young Spaniard’s unwillingness to move to Italy as a makeweight, but an improved cash offer consisting of an initial £25m with a further £7m payable in performance-related bonuses appears to be acceptable to everyone.
Manchester City have reportedly identified Sanchez as their No.1 priority in the transfer market this summer and are willing to match any offer for him, but the winger’s personal desire to play alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta appears to have scuppered their chances.
The potential signing of Sanchez is apparently somewhat less integral to the plans of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, however, and the Scot will now likely turn his attentions to securing the arrival of Ashley Young from Aston Villa and trying to prise Samir Nasri from Arsenal.