Manchester City are prepared to walk away from a deal to sign Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Press Association Sport understands.
The Premier League leaders feel the overall price for signing the Chile forward this month – transfer fee, agent costs and wage demands – is currently too high and must come down.
City are not concerned if this stance opens up a route for another club, even arch-rivals Manchester United, to step in.
Sanchez has long been a target for City and they offered £60million for the 29-year-old, without success, last summer. They would now hope to do a deal for a fee of around £20million but are understood to have been quoted £35million.
City have been convinced of Sanchez’s desire to work with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola again for some time but they were prepared to wait until his contract expires in June.
A knee injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus on New Year’s Eve had the potential to change thinking and bring forward a potential deal, but the Brazilian’s problem is not as bad as feared.
With assessments suggesting Jesus could be back in training within three weeks, City have no urgent need to bring in another forward this month.
City understand Sanchez is keen to leave the Emirates Stadium in the current transfer window but they will not be pressured into overpaying by the player’s representatives, Arsenal or by the interest of any other club.
Reports emerged on Thursday that United were keen to enter the race for Sanchez but there has been no confirmation from Old Trafford.
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