Mourinho aiming to steal Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United have made a rival bid for Manchester City target Alexis Sanchez.City have offered Arsenal around £20million for the Chilean who has been set on a reunion with Pep Guardiola but United are prepared to bid closer to Arsenal’s asking price of £35m, while midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has also been discussed as a potential part of a deal.

It is understood United’s offer is in the region of £25m, as Jose Mourinho looks to get one over on United’s local rivals.Sanchez and his representatives are believed to have already agreed personal terms of around £250,000 per week with City but United can better them.

United and City tried to sign Sanchez prior to him joining Barcelona from Udinese in 2011 and again when he chose to join Arsenal from Barcelona in 2014.

Jose Mourinho and his United squad fly back from their warm-weather training camp in Dubai on Friday. Mourinho has been at odds with United’s hierarchy over their spending plans and has been eager for the club to be more competitive against their rivals in the transfer market.

He was initially told the club had £80m to spend in January but inflated prices have meant United have been reluctant to pay over the odds now, preferring to keep hold of their money unless a player of notice became available.Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale remains their prime target for the summer.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, has admitted he is still trying to convince Sanchez to stay at the Emirates Stadium, despite him failing to sign a new contract.

The club’s star man was on the bench for the 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday night, but the manager says that was unrelated to his future.‘The team selection had nothing to do with the transfer market,’ Wenger said. ‘Why did I start him on the bench? Why not? ‘I do not have to justify every decision I make, you know. I have played over 1,000 games and over 1,000 teams. ‘I want him to stay this month. I want him to stay for longer because he’s a very important player for us.