Alexis Sanchez's move to Manchester United is now a question of when, not if.
At the start of the January transfer window, the idea of Arsenal's star man moving to Old Trafford seemed mere fantasy but the Chilean has already been photographed in the famous red jersey. Confirmation of the £30 million is expected within a matter of days.
It proves both an unexpected and intriguing coup for the Red Devils.
Only a last minute failure to secure Thomas Lemar as a replacement saw Arsenal rebuff Manchester City's summer approach and it looked almost certain that Pep Guardiola would strike gold with a second attempt in the winter.
However, the Citizens refused to spend more than £20 million on a 29-year-old who would be available for absolutely nothing in just six month's time.
Manchester City miss out on Arsenal's star man
On paper, City's loss is United's gain with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going in the opposite direction and the Chilean harvesting lucrative wages.
The deal is one of the most interesting in recent Premier League history in the fact three of the league's biggest club and one of its biggest players are all involved.
And few have summed up the situation as well as Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer who, in particular, has noted how City have behaved oddly throughout the saga.
Alan Shearer hits the nail on the head
Writing in his column for The Sun, Shearer declared: "Manchester City might well think they have taken the moral high ground in the battle for Alexis Sanchez. The truth is they have been dealt a major blow.
"City claimed they had pulled out of the race because the wages for the player, due to his contract situation, were excessive. They have been estimated at around £505,000 a week.
"Given the amount of money City have shelled out left, right and centre since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2008, it does seem odd that now they have decided to rein it in."
It does seem odd indeed and especially from a club that shattered the transfer world record for a defender twice over the course of the summer.
Do Manchester City actually need Sanchez?
Nevertheless, Shearer did see the other side of the story and it proves a brave one from City. He wrote: "City seem very blase about it. And given the 12-point cushion they have at the top of the Premier League, why shouldn’t they be?
"Yes, it would have been difficult to find a regular place for him in the team given the players at Pep Guardiola’s disposal. But the deal is a big boost for their closest rival."
Too right, Alan, and only time will tell whether Guardiola's moral stance holds strong.
Do you think Manchester City have made a huge error with Alexis Sanchez? Have your say in the comments section below.
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