Manchester United will still move for Mesut Ozil even if they land Alexis Sanchez this month, according to reports.
The Red Devils are planning to hijack Arsenal forward Sanchez’s move to City by offering him £350,000-a-week wages and a £25million signing-on fee.
A plan to sign fellow contract rebel Ozil in the summer for free had been on the cards before interest in Sanchez, 29, was tabled.
And according to the Independent, snapping up the Chile superstar will not change United’s stance on Ozil, also 29.
Jose Mourinho reportedly sees the Germany playmaker, who he spent three years coaching at Real Madrid, as an integral part missing from his United team.
But Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is increasingly confident of tying Ozil down to a new deal.
He said: “It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract.
“But we want to keep Jack [Wilshere] and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left.”
The Frenchman added talks for a new Ozil contract are “very much alive” and there is “still an opportunity for him to stay”.
Sanchez, meanwhile, looks certain to be moving to Manchester this month – whether with United or City.
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He is set to be axed from today’s Arsenal squad to face Bournemouth.
Sanchez was a substitute for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea last Wednesday.
But Wenger is ready to leave Sanchez out today as his exit inches closer.
It will be a massive call by Wenger if he goes through with the decision, but it will also give the clearest indication yet that his transfer is imminent.
United are prepared to offer the Gunners £30m – but Pep Guardiola will not go higher than £20m.
Mourinho said: “Normally investment in the squad is made in the summer. We build a squad with this idea, this philosophy I share with the club’s owners.
“But if there is a fantastic opportunity on the table, you fight for that. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”