Manchester City could be waving the white flag on its pursuit of Alexis Sanchez
Manchester City look set to end their interest in long-time target Alexis Sanchez over Arsenal's transfer fee demands.
ESPN has claimed that the Premier League leaders will forego bringing the Chile international to the Etihad in January, after they were quoted too high a fee for the 29-year-old from the Gunners.
City's fierce rivals Manchester United were linked with a shock swoop for Sanchez on Thursday and now appear to be the only side in the running for the forward, whose contract expires at the end of this season.
City, who will have Gabriel Jesus back in two or three weeks according to Pep Guardiola, value Sanchez at around £20m. However, even though he only has six months to run on his deal, Arsenal are holding out for a price that is closer to £35m.
That has been enough to put Guardiola off from luring Sanchez up north from the capital - at least before the summer - and leaves United in pole position for the wantaway star in this window.
United are believed to have told Arsenal that they are willing to stump up cash and a player in part exchange - thought to be Red Devils outcast Henrikh Mkhitaryan - in an attempt to persuade Arsene Wenger's side to allow Sanchez to leave.
That possible deal is thought to have turned Arsenal's head and led to them increasing their valuation, in City's case anyway, of Sanchez.
City were on the cusp of landing Sanchez for around £60m last summer but, after Arsenal failed to land their own key transfer target in Monaco's Thomas Lemar, refused to sanction the sale of their talisman.
If Arsenal decide not to let Sanchez depart this month, they will lose the former Barcelona and Udinese man for free when his deal runs out on 1st July - a massive loss on the £35m they stumped up for him three-and-a-half years ago.
Sanchez is believed to be unhappy at Arsenal and had hoped to be reunited with Guardiola at City. Those dreams, however, now appear to be on ice and, unless he joins United instead, it could prove to be an extremely unhappy six month period for Sanchez in north London.