Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United battle City for £27m Sanchez

By Steven Beacom

Manchester United are set to beat Manchester City and Barcelona to the signing of Chilean sensation Alexis Sanchez for £27 million.

Moneybags City were favourites to snap up the young winger from Italian club Udinese, but United have moved ahead of their derby rivals with chief executive David Gill flying to Spain to clinch a deal for the 22-year-old.

It is understood that Gill met Udinese president Gino Pozzo in his home city of Barcelona yesterday and Old Trafford chiefs are confident of securing what would be an exciting capture.

Sanchez has been compared to former United hero Cristiano Ronaldo and scored 12 goals for Udinese last season, helping them to secure a place in the Champions League.

After seeing his team outclassed by Barcelona in the Champions League final last month, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to catch up and overhaul the Catalan giants in order to become kings of Europe again.

The Scot believes that the gifted Sanchez, along with a few other new signings, can help that dream come true.

Already Spanish keeper David de Gea from Atletico Madrid has been earmarked to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar and winger Ashley Young is arriving from Aston Villa.

Ferguson also wants a midfield kingpin to take over from Paul Scholes, who has hung up his boots, with Tottenham’s Luka Modric and Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder still on his radar.

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