United struggle as City and Barcelona fight for £27m ‘next Messi’ - reports

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Manchester United are struggling to secure a deal with Alexis Sanchez, after Udinese owner Gianpaolo Pozzo admitted that City are the most likely candidates for the Chilean star to move to.

"I think there is a 50% chance that he will stay in Udine," Pozzo said.

"However, if he was to leave, I would say City have the highest probability of success."

Pozzo insisted that City, United and Barcelona have not yet put forward a formal bid, despite the Daily Mail reporting that Manchester United chief executive David Gill had flown cross country to meet with Sanchez’s representatives.


"Concrete offers regarding the real value of the player have not arrived yet,” the owner said.

"We did speak to Inter, but we have not spoken to them since to reach an agreement. Things are nevertheless done at the last minute."

But despite Pozzo’s comments that City were favourites over United and Barca for Sanchez’s signature, twists seem to keep on coming in the star’s transfer battle. Udinese consultant Stefano Antonelli claims that Barcelona are now pushing to sign the winger, despite their reportedly limited transfer budget.

“Barca’s very powerful push onto the scene has changed the scenario,” Antonelli said.

"There are five clubs who are doing everything to get hold of him: Barcelona, Manchester City, United and two Italian clubs."

Manchester United were yesterday favourites to seal Sanchez’s signature from under City’s noses, despite United not offering as much money for the star.

Sanchez, a Chile international, has been touted as the next Messi for his classy style all over the pitch.

Chile national coach Claudio Borghi said that Sanchez’s physical presence will make him even better than the Barcelona superstar.

"Alexis can be even better than Messi - physically he can do much more,” Borghi said.

"I do not wish to talk nonsense, but Alexis will be one of the world's best. Messi already is."

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