Much has been made of the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga by the Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern, but the events that have unfolded should give them plenty of optimism for the future.
The Sanchez deal has finally been concluded and the dust has settled on one of the most publicised transfer sagas of the Premier League era, so now it seems appropriate to establish what the saga implies about the dynamic between two of the world’s greatest football clubs in Manchester.
Man City ultimately lost a huge battle with their local-rivals away from the field by failing to sign Sanchez, but the manner in which the saga was finalised suggests that a shift in power has already taken place in Manchester. Sanchez had been Pep Guardiola’s number one target since the summer window of 2017, and it would have taken a brave call to suggest that Sanchez would be moving anywhere other than The Etihad Stadium at the beginning of the mid-season window.
However, as we all know, Sanchez eventually opted to join Manchester United in a dramatic turn of events which will live long in the memory of both sets of supporters. City made the decision to end their interest in the Chile international due to concerns over Sanchez’s extortionate wage demands, which was a rather puzzling reason given City’s strong history of paying over the odds to secure their transfer targets.
On the contrary, Jose Mourinho and the Manchester United hierarchy were willing to meet Sanchez’s demands – a fact which suggests United are now lagging behind their local-rivals. For United, they had no choice other than to bring Sanchez to the club, whatever the price, purely because of City’s domination in the English top-flight this season.
If City really needed Sanchez at the club, then they would have paid whatever was necessary to sign one of Europe’s most devastating attacking players, but with the likes of Sane, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus, Silva and De Bruyne on their books, his signature was hardly necessary.
At this moment in time, United simply cannot boast the same level of quality in their squad, and that factor alone made the acquisition of Sanchez absolutely imperative to ensure that The Red Devils did not fall further behind their bitter-rivals. The gulf in class has certainly been narrowed by United’s massive mid-season transfer, but Mourinho has plenty of work to do if he wishes to challenge Guardiola’s imperious City side at the summit of the Premier League next season.
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