Transfer roundup: Could Manchester United really beat City to Alexis Sanchez?

FC Yahoo
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/alexis-sánchez" data-ylk="slk:Alexis Sanchez">Alexis Sanchez</a> is likely leaving <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/arsenal/" data-ylk="slk:Arsenal">Arsenal</a>, and likely going to Manchester. But now there’s some doubt about his exact destination. (Getty)
Alexis Sanchez is likely leaving Arsenal, and likely going to Manchester. But now there’s some doubt about his exact destination. (Getty)

Welcome to FC Yahoo‘s daily transfer roundup, where we’ll dissect the January market, assess the credibility of gossip, and discuss the likelihood that deals come to pass. Every day, we’ll split the various links between players and clubs into four categories to sift through the BS and direct your attention to the reports that deserve it.

Here’s the transfer roundup for Thursday, Jan. 11:

THURSDAY’S DONE DEALS

Yerry Mina | Palmeiras —> BarcelonaBarcelona has officially completed the signing of Mina six months earlier than expected. The 23-year-old Colombian center back joins for a bargain-bin price of $14.6 million. He’s widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in South America. At Barca, he’ll immediately become Gerard Pique’s backup, and could eventually be the Spaniard’s successor at right-sided center back, alongside Samuel Umtiti.

Francis Coquelin | Arsenal —> ValenciaArsene Wenger confirmed it Wednesday night. Thursday morning, it became official. Coquelin has signed a contract through the 2021-22 campaign, with a $93.3 million release clause(!).

REPORTS

Baba Rahman | Chelsea —> Schalke — Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel confirmed the two clubs are in talks over a deal for the left-back, who spent part of last season on loan with the Bundesliga club.

Alex Pritchard | Norwich —> Huddersfield — Huddersfield manager David Wagner confirmed the two clubs had agreed a fee – reportedly in the $15.6 million range – for the 24-year-old attacking midfielder. Now it’s on to personal terms and a medical.

Vicente Guaita | Getafe —> Crystal Palace — The 31-year-old goalkeeper, amid interest from Watford as well, is reportedly close to a move to Selhurst Park.

CHATTER

Manchester United in for Alexis Sanchez? — It might not be the biggest bombshell of the window, but it’s certainly the most unexpected. Gianluca Di Marzio dropped it Thursday: Manchester United is pursuing Alexis Sanchez, a player who 24 hours ago appeared destined for Manchester City.

As of late Thursday, here’s what we know – or at least here’s what’s been reported: City, per Di Marzio, has already agreed to contract terms with Sanchez. Sanchez wants to reunite with Pep Guardiola. City is reportedly willing to pay $27.1 million. Arsenal wants at least $34 million. With no other suitor, if neither side budges, Sanchez would see out his contract and join City for free in the summer.

But now there is another suitor. United has reportedly offered the $34 million that might appease Arsenal. There’s also been the suggestion that Jose Mourinho has dangled Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of a swap deal. And in many ways, a move to United would make a lot of sense. Sanchez would be just the type of versatile attacker Mourinho needs.

The proverbial ball is now at City’s feet. It has to read the situation, and decide how tempting United would be to Sanchez. Per Guillem Balague, City believes in the pull of Pep, and might not budge. But that’s slightly risky. Even if Sanchez is set on playing for Guardiola, could astronomical wages at United change his mind?

It’s unlikely Sanchez-to-United comes to fruition. But Mourinho’s interest could force City to part with an extra $7 million or so to ensure Guardiola gets his man. The club that benefits most from the latest development, therefore, is Arsenal.

Well this is awkward … — Thiago Silva says Javier Pastore wants to leave PSG. Pastore, speaking for himself on Thursday: “I repeat, my dream has always been to be the last to leave. I have always been loyal. It is not true that I want to leave! I would like to finish my career here.”

Another Naby Keita update — Well, sort of. The Guardian and other British outlets have run stories suggesting that a January deal is possible. The Guardian claims RB Leipzig wants an additional $23 million on top of the original price of roughly $73 million for Keita to move to Liverpool now rather than in the summer. But Leipzig continues to refute the idea.

Another Thomas Lemar update — We more or less ignored Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim’s last quote that more or less said, Anything can happen in January. But his latest response to a question about Lemar, his $122 million-rated winger, is a bit more ominous. “You know how crazy the transfer window is … a club like Monaco cannot say no,” Jardim said. That would seem to open the door for a January exit, though it would still require a gargantuan offer.

RUMORS

A quick note, before we get to a few rumors: Contrary to our strategy earlier in the window, we’ll no longer be including the rumors that are obviously nonsense. We’ll effectively blacklist outlets like Don Balon and the Sun who have terrible track records, and quite clearly report things that are totally unsubstantiated.

Christian Pulisic | Borussia Dortmund —> Manchester United — The Independent is usually pretty reliable. So we’ll just pass this along directly, from Miguel Delaney: “Manchester United are willing to strongly challenge Liverpool if the Anfield club go in for Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic in the summer, as the American talent has emerged as a big target for the Old Trafford hierarchy.”

Pulisic is going to command a massive transfer fee if and when he does move on from Dortmund. He’s the second- or third-most accomplished teenager in European football right now, and the most accomplished went for $216.7 million last summer. Plus, as Delaney notes, Pulisic’s commercial value, as a potential American superstar, is off the charts. He is going to be the subject of dozens of rumors between now and September. If he does go to a superclub, expect a nine-figure fee.

Julian Weigl | Borussia Dortmund —> Manchester UnitedThe Independent also reports United is leading the chase for Weigl, a 22-year-old German midfielder renowned for his passing.

Lucas Moura | PSG —> Tottenham — We know Manchester United is in for the 23-year-old Brazilian winger. According to Le 10 Sport in France, Tottenham is too.

Andrea Belotti | Torino —> Manchester United — The Red Devils are looking at the 24-year-old Italian striker, per Tuttosport.

Gerard Deulofeu | Barcelona —> Napoli — Napoli still wants Bologna’s Simone Verdi, but its Plan B, according to Di Marzio, is Deulogeu. Player and club are reportedly close to agreeing personal terms. It will be up to Napoli to meet Barca’s asking price, which is, per reports, somewhere between $18 million and $24 million.

JANUARY’S TOP DONE DEALS

(Chronological order)

Yerry Mina | Palmeiras —> Barcelona ($14.2 million)
Francis Coquelin | Arsenal —> Valencia ($14.4 million)
Fousseni Diabate | Gazélec Ajaccio —> Leicester City ($2.4 million)
Renato Steffen | FC Basel —> Wolfsburg ($2 million)
Mark Uth | Hoffenheim —> Schalke (summer, free)
Moritz Bauer | Rubin Kazan —> Stoke City ($6.8 million)
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou | Tottenham —> Burnley (loan)
Kevin Mirallas | Everton —> Olympiacos (loan)
Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool —> Barcelona ($192.5 million)
Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton ($36.5 million)
Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa (undisclosed)
Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea ($20.3 million)
Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke (loan)
Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal ($2.4 million)

Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)

Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool ($101.4 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€71.5 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City ($29.8 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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