Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City never intended using Raheem Sterling in a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez, but has refused to rule out a January raid on Arsenal for the Chilean forward.
City identified Sanchez as a top target over the summer and spent much of the transfer window attempting to put a deal in place.
With the Chilean entering the final year of his contract at Emirates Stadium, Guardiola’s side pushed their efforts as high as £60 million in an effort to get a move pushed through.
It was also suggested that England international Sterling could be offered to Arsenal in an effort to sweeten the deal, but the deadline passed with no agreement reached.
Guardiola claims no exchange was ever considered, telling reporters: “Arsenal were keen on a swap deal with Alexis and Raz but I spoke with them and said no chance. Absolutely no chance. Zero chance.”
The Catalan coach has, however, hinted that City retain their interest in Sanchez.
They will have to wait until January before addressing the situation again, and anything could happen before then.
Guardiola is ruling nothing out, though, at this stage and will assess his needs in the New Year before deciding whether to rekindle his efforts to sign a player he has previously worked with at Barcelona.
He added on the Sanchez saga: “Sometimes deals happen, sometimes not.
“I don’t know what will happen in the winter time. He is an Arsenal player.”
City already have plenty of attacking firepower on their books to see them through the first half of the season.
Along with Sterling, Guardiola is able to call upon the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva, with David Silva and Yaya Toure filling playmaking posts.