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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool plot swoop for Alexis Sanchez, Man Utd and City stall

The FC crew discuss Manchester United's interest in Man City target Alexis Sanchez and what it means for Arsenal.
The guys respond to your tweets about Alexis Sanchez, Real Madrid's transfer window and Colombia's chances of success at the World Cup.

The transfer window is heating up! Transfer Talk brings you live updates on all the latest rumours and done deals. Check out all the confirmed January moves so far on our transfers page.

TOP STORY: Liverpool shock contenders for Sanchez

Liverpool have entered the race to sign Alexis Sanchez, with the Mirror reporting that the Reds will happily meet Arsenal's £35 million valuation.

The Chilean has been pursued heavily by Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola eager to reunite with the player he coached at Barcelona.

The Premier League leaders' reluctance to pay more than £20m though has led to Manchester United making their move, but the Merseysiders might now provide a third offer.

The Manchester clubs still have the edge, due to their ability to offer a bigger contract -- City will reportedly go to £285,000-per-week -- while the Red Devils will offer the 29-year-old something around £300,000-per-week.

In order to sway Sanchez away from linking up with Guardiola once more, the Telegraph says United must pay up to £10m to agents.

Sanchez's representative Fernando Felicevich's demands have put off City, and United could now benefit from giving into agent demands to land the player -- as they did in the Romelu Lukaku signing to beat Chelsea.

In the latest development, Sanchez will MISS Arsenal's match at Bournemouth on Saturday. While Liverpool are late suitors, it appears Manchester United are in pole position to sign him.

And Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said on Sunday that the situation will likely be resolved in the next 48 hours. That's something we can all be thankful for.

LIVE BLOG

22.45 GMT: And we end the day where we began, with more on Alexis Sanchez. Goal reports that Manchester City are pulling out of the race for the Chile international after having previously agreed in principle to a deal to bring him over from Arsenal. However, the emergence of a bigger offer from Man United left City feeling a bit miffed with Sanchez's agent and they've decided to move on.

22.30 GMT: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said Bayern Munich will have to break their transfer record to keep pace with other elite clubs, saying: "[Club president] Uli Hoeness and I agree that we will have to take the plunge at some stage and sign a player for a transfer fee between €80-100 million."

22.15 GMT: More managerial news here and with a big name at that, according to Sky Sports.

21.45 GMT: Liverpool's thrilling 4-3 win against Manchester City did nothing to take the heat off of Jurgen Klopp's goalkeepers. Loris Karius, who Klopp confirmed as first-choice over Simon Mignolet, let in a Leroy Sane equaliser early on that had pundits and fans alike saying should have been saved. And after the match, former Newcastle and Man City keeper Shay Given suggested Liverpool need to find a world-class player to put between the sticks at Anfield. 

Given suggested in the Daily Mail that either Stoke's Jack Butland or Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak would fit the bill, while Klopp defended Karius, saying: "People always find a hair in the soup."

21.15 GMT: Martin O'Neill has rejected the chance to become Stoke's new manager.

The Republic of Ireland boss looked set to move to the bet365 Stadium but has now removed himself from the running, according to PA Sport sources.

His decision leaves Stoke in limbo in their search to replace Mark Hughes after failing to land any of their top three targets.

20.50 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are closing in on a deal for Basel defender Manuel Akanji, according to Sky, with the club bidding £20m for the 22-year-old this weekend. Following Dortmund's 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg on Sunday, their club director Michael Zorc said: "There are still some details to sort out. We hope that we can sign full soon."

The Sun reports that Manchester United are waiting in the wings to swoop for Akanji if a move to Dortmund fails to materialise.

20:15 GMT: Charlton Athletic winger Ricky Holmes is poised to complete a move to Sheffield United on Monday after watching Friday's Sheffield derby from the Bramall Lane stands, the Sheffield Star reports.

19:45 GMT: Leicester City have had an offer of around £3 million for Marseille attacker Bouna Sarr turned down, according to reports in France -- but they could soon return with another, the Leicester Mercury says.

19:00 GMT: A while ago, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho suggested that his club would do their next batch of big transfer business in the summer, not this month. But now, on a day fevered by speculation about Alexis Sanchez he has said a winter deal could be done if a "fantastic opportunity" were to arise. So make of that what you will...

18:35 GMT: Scottish giants Rangers could move for long-serving Norwich defender Russell Martin, who has fallen out of favour at Carrow Road and not played for the first team since a 4-0 defeat at Millwall in August, the Herald reports.

18:05 GMT: West Brom have highly-rated Bristol City defender Aiden Flint high on their wanted list if they lose Jonny Evans to either Arsenal or Manchester City in the winter window, says the Birmingham Mail.

17:25 GMT: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the future of Alexis Sanchez is likely to be settled within the next couple of days. Sanchez, out of contract in the summer, has been strongly linked with both Manchester United and Manchester City.

And asked about his future, Wenger said: "Look, if Alexis goes we need to replace him. Will he go or not? I do not know, but at the moment it's the transfer period and in this kind of period you try to use the players that are completely focused at being at the club."

Asked when Sanchez might leave, the manager replied: "I don't master the rhythm of that, but it could happen today or tomorrow, or not at all -- that's why I didn't take a decision.

16:45 GMT: West Ham United are ready to make sure teenage defender Declan Rice stays in East London by offering him a new deal at the end of the season, according to reports.

16:00 GMT: Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Sky the club "would be crazy" if they did not consider the possibility of signing Leon Goretzka on a free transfer.

Germany international midfielder Goretzka, 22, is out of contract with Schalke at the end of June and both Sport Bild and Marca have reported that he has opted to join Bayern at the end of the season.

15:30 GMT: Former Crystal Palace manager Frank De Boer has said "Liverpool would be a great club" for winger Wilfried Zaha one day, adding: "I think he has a great potential."

14:55 GMT: Roy Hodgson has got Crystal Palace motoring, but he has said he wants to add new faces this month. That would be difficult, he reckoned. Perhaps not as difficult as he might have thought?

14:40 GMT: Aberdeen have told the BBC that they have turned down a bit from Championship strugglers Hull for defender Scott McKenna.

14:30 GMT: Big news to come at Anfield later? Well, let's see...

14:00 GMT: To west London and to Brentford, one of the most progressive clubs in the Championship, who have completed another deal with an eye to the long term.

The Bees have signed teenage midfielder Jaakko Oksanen from HJK Helsinki and he will join up with their, er, B team after moving for an undisclosed fee.

13:25 GMT: More, unsurprisingly, on the story of the day -- Alexis Sanchez. The London Evening Standard reports that Arsenal "look set to drive a hard bargain" for the Chile international and will demand up to £40 million.

And it adds that "with Sanchez wanting £300,000-a-week in wages, it appears league leaders City are less inclined to commit to what would be a major investment for a player who they could sign without a transfer fee when the season is over."

13:10 GMT: Time to forget about speculation that Naby Keita could join Liverpool from RB Leripzig this month rather than in the summer -- the Bundesliga club have said on their official Twitter account that there is nothing doing on that front:

12:40 GMT: And right on cue, here's Wenger on Sanchez: "His situation is not completely decided one way or the other.

"Yes, don't read too much into it because I don't know what way it'll go. You want to focus on the players who are on the pitch."

12:35 GMT: We'll hear from Arsene Wenger shortly, but for now The Mirror's Arsenal correspondent has this to say on the day's big story:

12:30 GMT: And staying in the Championship, West Ham United want Robert Snodgrass, on loan at Aston Villa, to come back to London this month, reports in Scotland suggest.

12:20 GMT: Both Fulham and Derby County want to sign striker Nelson Oliveira from Championship rivals Norwich, according to reports. Oliviera was linked with Reading in the summer.

12:10 GMT: It's all about Alexis Sanchez at the moment, with a move to Old Trafford appearing to be closer and closer.

The Independent reports that United "are newly confident of beating Manchester City to the signing of Sanchez amid expectations that Arsene Wenger will sanction a sale in the next 48 hours."

And it says "those close to the deal even believe that United are now considerable favourites" with City having said they will not pay £35 million for the player or high agent fees.

11:44 GMT: A reminder that Arsenal are at Bournemouth, kickoff 1.30pm GMT. Arsene Wenger will no doubt he asked about Alexis Sanchez's situation when interviewed before the match. We'll bring you what he says right here.

11:34 GMT: Wow. Could it really be happening? Are we really in the end game of Alexis Sanchez's move from Arsenal ... to MANCHESTER UNITED?! Well, here's the story that he isn't playing any part in Bournemouth vs. Arsenal today. He's fully fit and trained yesterday ...

10.43 GMT: Yet another Alexis Sanchez update, and the Daily Mirror is reporting that the Chile international will be LEFT OUT of Sunday's game at Bournemouth and a move to Manchester United is edging closer.

10.31 GMT: More info on a possible deal for Alexis Sanchez. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Fernando Felicevich, the player's agent, will demand more than £10m to facilitate a deal this month.

10.09 GMT: As well as being linked with a shock move for Alexis Sanchez and bringing Suso back to Anfield, Liverpool are also said to be considering a move for Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka and Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins.

09.36 GMT: Newcastle are stumbling along this season, but with takeover talks still going on manager Rafa Benitez is struggling to strengthen his squad. "We are no closer to signing anyone, so we must look at the players who are here and who are playing," he said.

09.00 GMT: We're almost half way through the January transfer window and there's still plenty of dealing to be done. Stay with us for the latest.

PAPER ROUND

Reds eye Suso return to Anfield

Liverpool are considering a move to bring AC Milan star Suso back to Anfield, claims Tuttosport.

The Reds sold the Spaniard in 2015 to the Rossoneri for a paltry €1.3m and, having extended his contract last September until 2022, he would now command a huge fee.

Suso made only 21 appearances whilst on Merseyside, scoring just once, but the 24-year-old has revitalised his career at the San Siro following an impressive stint on loan at Genoa.

Since returning to Milan for last season, Suso has scored 14 goals and made 20 assists, which has culminated in a first cap for Spain.

With a World Cup place now at stake, a January move back to Anfield might prove risky given his starring role in Italy.

Hammers want new midfield duo

West Ham are to offer Marouane Fellaini a route out of Manchester United, according to the Star.

The Belgian is out of contract this summer and has reportedly shunned a £170,000 per week extension.

The 30-year-old has offers from Besiktas, Galatasaray and Chinese Super League clubs, but the opportunity to reunite with David Moyes could now prove tempting.

Moyes also wants to raid former club Everton to bring Tom Davies to West Ham, reports the Mirror.

The Hammers boss is keen on the 19-year-old's energy and with Sam Allardyce's preference for experience over youth, a deal is feasible.

Tap-ins

- Celtic are looking into buying Schalke striker Franco Di Santo, reports the Daily Record.

Brendan Rodgers has identified the former Chelsea starlet, with the pair's time at Stamford Bridge overlapping in 2008, in case Moussa Dembele is sold this month.

- Manchester United could lose out to RB Leipzig in the battle for Benfica super talent Umaro Embalo, claims the Mirror.

A fee of £16m has been floated for the Portugal under-17 international with the Red Devils sending chief scout Javier Ribalta and head of development John Murtagh to monitor Embalo's progress last year.

But the German club have stolen a march on their rivals after sporting director Ralf Rangnick and sports coordinator Jochen Schneider flew into Lisbon this week for talks with Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieira.

- Newcastle and West Brom could offer Troy Deeney a way out of Watford, reports the Mail, following the striker assuming a bit-part role this season.

- The Mail also reports Crystal Palace are to finally solve their long-standing goalkeeping weakness by signing Vicente Guaita from Getafe.

Roy Hodgson could land the former Valencia shot-stopper for £3.5m to provide an alternative to Wayne Hennessey and Julian Speroni.

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