City must pay £35m to win race for Sanchez
Udinese last night claimed Manchester City were leading the race to sign their Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, though they insisted that a concrete offer matching their £35m valuation has not yet been forthcoming.
The comments by the Italian club's owner Giampaolo Pozzo, a legendary wheeler-dealer, sound like an attempt to whip up an auction now that the 22-year-old's mooted move to Barcelona has not taken place.
Udinese may well delay a decision until the conclusion of their Champions League play-off tie.
Sanchez is one of City's top targets, though, and in confirming their interest, Pozzo did not suggest there would be the reported competition from Manchester United or Chelsea.
"The right offer has not yet arrived," he said. "Alexis is a player everybody wants, but he is also a player with a specific price. It is not easy for anyone to buy him.
"And if he and his agent (Fernando Felicevich) are intelligent people, they will know that firstly we cannot give him away, and secondly if people are not prepared to give him the right consideration, it is better to stay in Udinese than to risk getting burned out or seeing his reputation suffer.
"(Internazionale, Juventus, Barcelona, City) are all interested but concrete offers, for his real value (£35m), have not arrived. I think it is 50-50 that he will stay here, but if he does go I would say that the (likelihood) is to City, because English football is the richest and knows how to evaluate its talent.
"Inter? There has only been a request to talk, but we have not spoken in any definitive form. These things are not done until the last minute, though," he added (© Independent News Service)