Just when you thought the race for Alexis Sanchez's signature was a straight head-to-head between Manchester City and United, along come Liverpool and their £142 million of Philippe Coutinho money to throw a major spanner in the works.
United made a shock £25m move for Alexis Sanchez earlier this week after months of us all assuming that his move to Manchester City was an all but certainty.
"I think there is confidence on the red side of Manchester that they have the fee that Arsenal are looking for and they maybe have a player in Henrikh Mkhitaryan that might certainly catch Arsene Wenger's eye".
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"He (Sanchez) is being vague at the moment", said the Frenchman.
"Don't read too much into it, because even I don't know really what way it will go".
Jose Mourinho labelled him a "phenomenal player" at his press conference later that day but both the United boss and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola were tight-lipped about a potential move for the forward. News emanating this week has suggested that the 29-year-old Chilean could the subject of a player plus cash deal by the 20-time and according to a Turkish publication, Ibrahimovic could be ready to leave Old Trafford should the former Barcelona man arrive at Old Trafford.
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United have a lot of creative players in the final third, but none is as influential as Sanchez.
But now everything has changed and in light of Wenger dropping Sanchez, Ferdinand has given his take on the situation on Twitter. "So he has got more opportunities to win trophies there".
It is hard to envisage Sanchez staying beyond January, but Arsenal will not sell him unless they can bring in a replacement, with a £35m bid for 20-year-old Malcom expected this week. So, they want a combination of the two, that big clubs can give them.
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Conte has also criticised United's spending, while Mourinho even mocked the Chelsea head coach for having a hair transplant. With no end to the fixture crunch in sight, Conte must hope the hamstring injury suffered by Gary Cahill is not severe.