Manchester City are not affected by Alexis Sanchez electing to join Manchester United over the Citizens, attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has claimed.
The Premier League title favourites were expected to sign Sanchez either this month or in the summer when the Chilean’s contract at Arsenal was set to expire and a free transfer would have been possible.
Yet United swooped in just over a week into the January transfer window and secured Sanchez’s signature in a straight player-swap deal for out-of-form Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Reds are paying Sanchez huge wages, but Man City were willing to do the same, if not quite to the same extent. De Bruyne says it doesn’t affect their side, but everyone looking on recognises it’s both advantage United and a statement from the Reds.
“It doesn’t matter,” said De Bruyne. “We will still do what we need to do, with or without him.
“He chose United. Okay, there are a lot of good players. If they want to come, they want to come, and otherwise we will do it with our team.”
City will be fine, realistically. The attacking talent Pep Guardiola already has at his disposal is astonishingly good. However, Sanchez would be a good addition to any side.
More importantly, the deal, as many have pointed out, shows that while City may have established an almost unassailable 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League, United remain far better positioned to sign players.
The Reds have better financial power, despite money being pumped into City by their Arab owners for the last eight seasons, and better pulling power.
Robin van Persie chose United over City in 2012, and went on to score the winner in the Manchester derby on his way to leading Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to the club’s 20th Premier League title. Hopefully Sanchez can emulate the Dutchman.