Manchester United are increasingly confident of winning the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, with sources telling ESPN FC that Jose Mourinho first raised the prospect of using Henrikh Mkhitaryan as leverage for a deal last summer.
The Armenian started this season in a similar vein, laying on regular assists for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, before a loss of form led to another ostracizing by Mourinho.
City's stance has put United in pole position to win the race for Sanchez, who is determined to leave Arsenal this month rather than wait to move as a free agent in the summer.
And Mourinho has hinted at a potential sale should clubs meet United's demands for Mkhitaryan.
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By tea , he had hit six fours and played the lead role in an unbroken partnership of 52 with Murali Vijay, who was 31 not out. Brief scores: South Africa 335 all out in 113.5 overs (Markram 94, Du Plessis 63, Amla 82; Ashwin 4/13, Ishant 3/46).
The 36-year-old former Sweden worldwide suffered a horrific knee injury back in April 2017 in Manchester United's Europa League campaign and despite making an early comeback, he is yet to reach full fitness.
Mkhitaryan has started just two of United's last 15 games and struggled to make the bench for most of November and December.
But despite United's apparent eleventh-hour move for Sanchez, sources have told ESPN FC that the club has been quietly attempting to beat City to the player since last August.
"And I am not the kind of blind manager.blind in the sense of, this player is untouchable, can never be sold".
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Jose Mourinho has outlined both his, and the clubs transfer policy with regard to making signings in the January transfer window. "It's up to us to make the right price".
"Our squad was built not to have new players in January, we build a squad with this idea, with this philosophy that I share with Mr Woodward and the owners, normally the investment is to be made in the summer", Mourinho said.
"So let's say in the summer we have three targets - a defender, a midfielder and an attacking player - if, in the winter, you do one of the three, then in the summer you are going to do three minus one".
"It's up to us to decide what we think is the right price". So tomorrow training, then Sunday selected and Monday play'.
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