Jose Mourinho has refused to open up about links suggesting Manchester United were in negotiations to sign Alexis Sanchez but did note that he was a “phenomenal player”.
Reports on Thursday claimed that Man United had launched an offer worth £25m to hijack Manchester City’s bid to sign the Chilean international.
Man City are unwilling to improve their offer of £20m given that Sanchez only has six months left on his contract, potentially paving the way for United to table an offer they can’t refuse.
But Mourinho, speaking at a press conference ahead of Monday’s clash with Stoke City, was notably coy when asked about the rumours.
“I don’t know if it’s ethical or correct,” he said. “The word we can find to be speaking about players of other clubs. If somebody speaks of one of my players to tell we are interested or we are not interested, I wouldn’t be very, very happy.
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player, I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.
“At the general level what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board, the owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market, we don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something, we don’t believe in that.
“What we believe really is there are some players in football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, in March or in July, you have to try and that’s it.
“But in relation to Alexis Sanchez I don’t say a word, the only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player, apart from that an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this.”
This is the type of response you’d expect from a man who, over the last week or so, has focused his attention on pinching a player targeted for some time by Pep Guardiola. United have come out of nowhere in the pursuit of Sanchez and their strength lies with the element of surprise, of swooping in discreetly, tabling a big offer, and somehow emerging with a truly earth shattering signing – just like they did with Romelu Lukaku.
Pep Guardiola was similarly reluctant to enter details in his press conference earlier today as the race for Arsenal’s biggest goal threat intensifies. This is a story that won’t be going away any time soon.