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Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Manchester United have moved ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in the January transfer window, according to reports in the British media.

BBC Sport is reporting that Manchester City – who have been heavily linked with Sanchez for months – are not willing to pay Arsenal’s £35m asking price for the 29-year-old.

The same report claims that Sanchez’s agent wants £5m as part of the proposed deal, which would take the total outlay to £40m.

The story says that Manchester City are prepared to “risk” losing out on Sanchez, and that Manchester United could now well be ahead of their bitter local rivals in the race for the talented attacker.

Sanchez is in the final few months of his contract at Arsenal and his future at the club has been a relentless source of speculation in the last few months.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will decide to try and cash-in this month or risk losing him on a free transfer in the summer.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho described Sanchez as a “phenomenal” player but refused to be drawn further on the speculation linking him with a move to Old Trafford.

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