Premier League outfit Manchester City have given up hope of luring Udinese's Alexis Sanchez to England, as manager Roberto Mancini has revealed that the club have pulled out of the race for the Chile international.
The FA Cup winners were eager to add the 22-year-old attacker to their squad, but Sanchez has set his sights on a move to Barcelona instead, and Mancini has admitted defeat in his attempts to sign the player.
"I talked to Alexis, but he wants to move to Barcelona. We have thus decided to withdraw from the negotiations to buy the player, although we have made some serious offers for him," Mancini was quoted as saying by Sky Sports Italia.
Sanchez revealed on Tuesday that he is only interested in a move to the Spanish champions and added that he would stay at Udinese if a move to Catalunya fell through. Nevertheless, it appears as if a transfer to Barca is only a matter of time.
Udinese representative, Quique Pina, revealed last week that the deal is almost complete, and both sides have now resumed negotiations to wrap up the transfer, Sport reports.
Barcelona and Udinese have reached an agreement on a transfer fee of €40 million, but the Champions League winners want to pay an initial €27m with the remaining €13m depending on variables.
The Italian club are willing to accept the valuation, but want to be sure that the eventual transfer payment amounts to €40m, and are reluctant to accept stipulations depending on the player's performances at Camp Nou.
However, both sides seem to be keen to finalise the deal shortly and Gino Pozzo, son of Udinese president Giampaolo, has stated that a solution will soon be found to allow Sanchez to complete his switch.
"The negotiations with Barcelona are still ongoing and we will find a solution. The boy's desire is to move to Barcelona and we are looking to find a way to make this happen. We will continue talks and we will see what happens," Pozzo said to Il Corriere dello Sport.
"Whether City have pulled out of the race to sign him, you'd have to ask them. We never really negotiated with them."