Manchester United have made a late entry into the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga by making a £35M bid for the Arsenal attacker, according to Sky Sports, throwing into further doubt the future of the 29 year old who until recently seemed destined to leave the Emirates to join forces with Pep Guardiola once again. Manchester City had been in contact with the Chilean for a longer time, with some reports even suggesting that personal terms had been agreed on between both parties.

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United tempt Arsenal with higher bid

Sir Alex Ferguson previously failed to land Sanchez back in 2011 when he moved from Udinese to Barcelona as a promising talent, but the Red Devils might get their man this time around by significantly bettering City's £20M bid and also possibly offering a makeweight to Arsenal in the form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose stop-start career at Old Trafford might be close to its logical end.

Arsene Wenger is likely to sell his star attacker in January only after securing a replacement, with Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and Brazilian forward Malcolm his top targets. Despite his enormous success at Borussia Dortmund, Mkhitaryan doesn’t fall into the same category as the other targets as United fans have only gotten glimpses of his talent, mostly restricted to the Europa League.

Sanchez is the sort of match-winner Jose Mourinho’s squad clearly lacks at the moment, with City’s massive 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings [VIDEO] putting pressure on the red-half of Manchester to recruit higher quality attackers. Romelu Lukaku has struggled in front of goal after an early flourish and Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have chipped in with only 11 goals combined. The right-wing has been a problem area for Mourinho though and Sanchez isn’t about to solve that issue, but his directness in the final-third and goal-scoring exploits would be an immense upgrade to the current crop at Old Trafford.

Man City prepared to concede defeat

Guardiola has assembled an extremely potent multi-dimensional attack force that has blown away most defenses this season, scoring 21 goals more than their cross-town rivals in the process. Sergio Aguero has 19 goals to his name despite constantly being linked with a move away from the Etihad. Add to it Raheem Sterling’s impressive return of 18 goals, along with the exploits of Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, and Leroy Sane, and you have something truly special, which might explain the club's reluctance to jump into a bidding war with their neighbors, with the BBC reporting that City might even concede defeat following United's increased bid.

The opportunity to get him for free in the summer when his contract ends seems to be out the window now that United are in the frame. Guardiola’s prior association with the South American had tilted the balance in City’s favor but Mourinho's desperation to close the gap with his arch-rival has swung the pendulum in United's favor.

Although a more interesting facet would be Wenger’s thoughts on the whole drama, the Arsenal manager has seen plenty of his star players depart to the Etihad, but he also lost his most prized possession, Robin Van Persie, to United in 2012. In the midst of a classic "Sophie’s Choice" moment, Wenger must be hoping for another club to come in and prevent him from making the tough decision. Arsenal have tried their best to keep the forward, but are now destined to watch one of their stars strengthen one of their rivals once again.