Chelsea join Race For Alexis Sanchez While Jose Mourinho is 'Not Unconfident' of Striking a Deal

The laborious race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal has had a dramatic late twist as London rivals Chelsea look to pip Jose Mourinho to the deal after Manchester City dropped out.

A reunion with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium had seemed inevitable for Sanchez, as he sought a move away from the Emirates.

But Manchester United's late move, outbidding Premier League leaders City, and Chelsea's offer in the eleventh hour have put question marks over where Sanchez will be playing football next season.

Chelsea are unlikely to match United's bid which would see an overall cost of around £65 million, according to The Daily Telegraph, due to signing-on and agent fees. Fernando Felicevich, Sanchez's representative, would receive around £10 million.

That figure does not include the £350,000-a-week wages that Sanchez is seeking. And it is this part of the negotiations that are likely to scupper any attempt from Chelsea, as Eden Hazard is currently their highest paid player at £200,000-a-week.

Should United meet Sanchez's demands, he would become the highest paid player in the Premier League.

Speaking after watching his team beat Stoke City 3-0 at Old Trafford on Monday night (January 15), Mourinho suggested the move was likely to happen. "Not confident but also not... what is the opposite? Unconfident. Just relaxed," the United manager said.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez at Stamford Bridge, London, January 10. Chelsea has reportedly made a late bid for Arsenal striker Sanchez. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty

"We have a feeling he is an Arsenal player, he can stay there but also a feeling he can move, and if he moves I think we have a chance. But most probably a player like him has other big clubs interested."

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has consistently said that a deal could only happen if he had a replacement, with the club linked to Bordeaux's 20-year-old Brazilian winger Malcom.

But Arsenal, it seems, also have the option of signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan from United as part of the deal, having been left out of the squad for Monday's game. "It's possible [for Mkhitaryan to be part of the deal]," Mourinho said. "It's also possible he stays. I didn't select him because I wanted players fully focused and I understand that with so much talk and speculation it's not easy for Mkhitaryan to play."

Manchester City's decision to pull out of the race for Sanchez was made on Monday, due to Sanchez's wage demands, and is supported by Guardiola.