Alexis Sanchez snubbed a staggering £400,000-a-week offer from China to cement a move to Manchester City.
Arsenal’s contract rebel was sounded out about moving to Hebei China Fortune in a mega-money move.
But the Chilean forward made it clear his first choice is to reunite with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad when he leaves the Gunners.
The deal to the Far East would have pocketed him a phenomenal £21million per year after tax.
That means he would need to earn around £800,000 a week to take home the same money in England.
Sanchez, whose contract runs out in June, will not receive anywhere near that figure at the Etihad — nor at any club in England — but is determined to play for the Premier League leaders.
City thought they had landed the South American on the final day of last summer’s transfer window.
Arsenal were poised to accept City’s £55million offer — plus another £5m in add-ons.
But they pulled the plug on the deal when French winger Thomas Lemar snubbed a move to the Emirates, even though Arsenal had agreed a British record £92m transfer deal with Monaco.
Sanchez has refused to sign a new deal and could leave Arsenal for nothing in the summer.
Boss Arsene Wenger, who paid Barca £35m to sign Sanchez in 2014, insists he will not be sold in January. And ahead of last night’s Etihad clash with Tottenham, City boss Pep Guardiola refused to confirm if he will make a fresh attempt to land Sanchez, 28, next month.
The Spaniard candidly said: “On the pitch, I don’t know. The January transfer window is in the winter.
“I don’t know, believe me, I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Sanchez spent three years playing under Guardiola at the Nou Camp but was in the shadow of Lionel Messi.
And the former Barca boss has previously said: “Even the big, big players who believe that they are top, when they go there they understand that Messi is unique.”
However, the Spaniard still rates Sanchez — who has hit 77 goals in 161 games for the Gunners — as one of the best forwards on the market and wants to freshen his attack — even if a deal is more likely at the end of the season rather than in January.
That could then open the door to a move for City’s Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, with Spanish giants Real Madrid favourites to land him.
Arsenal are lining up a move for Reading’s highly rated academy boss Lee Herron.
Emirates chiefs want Herron to work under Per Mertesacker from next season when the German hangs up his boots to become Gunners’ academy manager.
Herron took over from Eamonn Dolan 15 months ago after 16 years in Royals’ youth set-up and has seen several players progress into the England youth teams.
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