It was supposedly only a matter of time before Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho has enjoyed little in the way of bragging rights over Pep Guardiola this season, but it now looks like he is going to get one over on his old rival.
The London Evening Standard report that despite City having courted the 29-year-old since the summer, Manchester United are now leading the race for his signature.
The Red Devils are prepared to trump the league-leaders either by making a higher cash offer, or by throwing in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was left out of the starting line-up for Monday night's game against Stoke City.
Ahead of that game, however, the Sanchez deal was causing a stir in the Sky Sports studio.
For, as easy as it is to understand why United have suddenly thrown their hat into the ring, Gary Neville admitted he couldn't understand why City weren't willing to go the extra mile to get their man.
Neville's take on Sanchez
"I just look at it economically. Manchester United - apparently, and this is alleged - have offered £35million, £5million agent fees, and £350,000 a week, which is £100million, for Alexis Sanchez who's just turned 29," he told Monday Night Football.
"City, apparently, are saying they won't pay more than £72million. Gone are the days when you can think that a Bosman signing is going to cost you less than what it would do if you were paying the club.
"If Alexis Sanchez had two years left on his contract now, you'd have to pay Arsenal £75-80million, and £250,000 a week. It'd cost you £100million, he's going to cost you £100million anyway.
"I'm not quite sure what City's economics are, especially when they've spent £50m on Walker...so they're willing to put more into Kyle Walker than Alexis Sanchez."
To stir the debate, Jamie Carragher insisted it was more about honour than money, suggesting City may have been upset by Sanchez's willingness to talk to United.
Carragher: 'Not about money'
"It's not about money. It might be for Sanchez, not for City," the former defender insisted.
"They're not bothered about 'these are the numbers', £30million - what's that to City?
"It's absolutely nothing. It's the fact that the man has, it looks like, given his word that he's going to come, and he's shook hands on a deal almost.
"They tried to get him in the summer, I'm sure they've been talking all the way through, we'll get you on the first of January.
"Manchester United have come from nowhere, offered more money...it looks like he's backed out of a deal."
In truth, both Neville and Carragher have made valid points. It's certainly surprising to see City beaten on money, yet they won't be happy at one of their key targets being taken from under their noses.
All that's left is to see how the saga ends in the coming days.
Do you agree with Neville or Carragher? Have your say in the comments.
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