SANTIAGO – Chile’s star footballer Alexis Sanchez has not been granted permission to leave the country’s training camp as speculation over Manchester City reaching a deal for the Arsenal forward intensifies.
Sanchez has been linked to a reunion with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium throughout the transfer window, with the 28-year-old in the last season of his contract.
Arsenal are understood to have rejected a £50 million (A$82 million) offer on Tuesday but, with an improved bid in the region of £70m ($A114m) expected, the Independent reported City have sent a delegation to Chile in anticipation of finalizing a club-record deal.
Chile's manager in a way confirmed Alexis Sanchez has 'options'. pic.twitter.com/BWFyZDUR0b
— M•A•J (@UltraSuristic_) August 31, 2017
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Paraguay’s visit to the Estadio Monumental David Arellano on Thursday, ex-Valencia boss Antonio Pizzi insisted such speculation was wide of the mark.
“No. It’s absolutely false. That permission never existed,” he said.
“Sometimes players request authorization for some things and sometimes we grant them and other times we don’t.
“I’m against rigid decisions, each case is different. We consider the individual situation of each player regarding many variables.
“But we always take into account that we are in a national team camp.”
Arsenal suffered a dispiriting 4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, with the Merseyside club widely reported to be on the verge of signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the Gunners.
With the toxic atmosphere of the last season seemingly on the verge of returning to Emirates Stadium, Sanchez’s exit could be seen as imperative for the star attacker, but Pizzi is not of this opinion.
“It’s very difficult before the transfer window closes to shed light on his future,” he said.
“In either option his future is very good. There is no reason to be displeased or dissatisfied. Both options are excellent.
“We are talking about a first-class player, who is coached by one of the best in the world. The conditions he has at Arsenal are spectacular.”
Pizzi added: “He’s worked well and he is happy. To say that he is nervous about his future is somewhat ironic, anyone would like to have those worries.
“He has the maximum disposition, he is in a good mood to represent the national team.”