Since resigning from the Alexis Sánchez race, Manchester City have been very involved behind-the-scenes in briefing certain narratives they want the public to believe.

They were the ones who leaked about Chelsea’s supposed ‘interest’, which turned out to be a red herring, obviously. The Blues are always interested in world class, top athletes, but City’s briefing of their interest insinuated that they were right on the tails of Manchester United and they could well hijack the deal.

That, of course, is not the case with Antonio Conte, stating that he does not think the Blues are actively pursuing the Chilean international. They may well have enquired over the last week, but they have not, and will not, put in a bid to Arsenal as they know the knot is all but tied.

City’s reason to exclude themselves from this deal is not just because of the money, like they have told the world it is this reason. The overriding problem for Pep Guardiola was he felt that Sánchez had not been loyal, nor pushing for the move hard enough, and the Spanish coach only wants players who are 100

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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