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Media Watch: Sanchez to City deal 'close'?

SANCHEZ SEALED?: The Daily Star believe a deal is near completion...

SANCHEZ SEALED?: The Daily Star believe a deal is near completion...

Transfer gossip dominates the City-centric headlines once again.

Tales of potential incomings and outgoings continue to swirl around the football world in both written and spoken form. If you’re a fan of such gossip, you’re in luck…

As you have probably come to expect, the rumours regarding City’s alleged interest in Alexis Sanchez rumble on – but the Daily Star insist a deal is nearing completion.

Harry Howes reports: “Gunners boss Arsene Wenger appears to have accepted defeat in his quest to convince the 29-year-old to sign a new deal.

“The Frenchman is prepared to lose Sanchez in this transfer window to avoid losing him for free.

“And now the club are working on securing the best possible fee.

“According to Goal.com, the two clubs have been in negotiations since Friday.

“Arsenal are dragging their heels in their £35m valuation of the Chilean but City are confident they can lower the price to around £25m.

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Pep Guardiola and his board are keen to get the deal done as early as possible to prevent a repeat of last summer’s fiasco.

“City had a £60m deal agreed in August but Arsenal pulled the plug on deadline day when they failed to bring in Thomas Lemar as his replacement.

“Goal.com also claim that Sanchez’s representatives are confident a deal is close to completion.

“City sporting director Txiki Begiristain has been in talks with the north London side all weekend.

“Sanchez was left out of the squad as Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest yesterday, so he’ll be free to represent City in the competition.

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“He’ll also be eligible for the Champions League due to Arsenal’s failure to qualify for this year’s tournament.”

Meanwhile, the Express and Star claim to have an update on another alleged City target.

Matt Wilson explains: “Alan Pardew already has Jonny Evans's replacement lined up in case he departs for Arsenal or Manchester City.

“The Albion boss has put contingency plans in place but he hopes that if his skipper does leave this month, he goes early in the window to allow the Baggies the best opportunity to spend the money.

“Arsenal and City are set to battle it out for Evans this January after both top six clubs enquired about the £30million-rated defender at the weekend.

“Evans missed Albion's 2-0 win over Exeter City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday with a sore foot, but Pardew insisted it was a legitimate injury. However, he does have targets in mind should Evans leave.

“Evans was also injured towards the end of the summer transfer window, when there was a three-way tug-of-war for his signature between Arsenal, City, and Leicester.”

Pardew stated: "As it stands at the moment there is no bid for Jonny but if a bid comes in that is acceptable to the club, we are ready to go and move if we need to.

"It would be naïve not to have that plan in place. Hopefully, if it does happen, it will happen earlier rather than later for us."

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Elsewhere, Shakhtar Donestk midfielder Fred asserts he is awaiting a phonecall from Guardiola regarding a move to the Etihad Stadium.

The Manchester Evening News’ Simon Bajkowski writes: “A Pep Guardiola phonecall has been a significant part of Manchester City's transfer strategy in the last few years.

Gabriel Jesus has spoken many times about the importance of his conversation with the former Barcelona manager when he was deciding which club to join, and Ederson has said similar.

“Fred, who impressed in Champions League games against the Blues this season, is reported to be one of the main targets.

“And the Brazilian would be delighted to hear the City manager on the other end of the line.”

He told GloboEsporte: "For sure, I would grow a lot with him. I have a lot of room to grow.

"I have not received (his call) yet. I'm just eagerly waiting. He'll call me soon!"

READ: City v Bristol City match preview

READ: Which channel is City v Bristol City on?

In other news, as attentions turn to Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final, Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has hailed City ‘amongst the best team’s England has ever seen.’

As quoted on Sky Sports, the Robins boss declared: “I think, as time goes, more than likely this team will etch itself in history as one of the best teams that have ever graced the pitches of England.

"They've got world-class players in every position, they've got world-class players behind that, and they've got Under-23 world-class players behind that.

"We've competed really well against the top teams and the boys have shown no fear going into these games.

"Sometimes I watch Manchester City's games and teams instantly drop off with fear right from the off but we'll go there and give it a real good go.

"The real challenge for us is to play our game because Guardiola teams don't allow the opposition to play their natural game."

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