“I was about to go to City” – Former Manchester United and Arsenal star reveals daily texts with ‘dad’ Pep Guardiola | OneFootball

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City Xtra

·24 March 2023

“I was about to go to City” – Former Manchester United and Arsenal star reveals daily texts with ‘dad’ Pep Guardiola

Article image:“I was about to go to City” – Former Manchester United and Arsenal star reveals daily texts with ‘dad’ Pep Guardiola

Former Manchester United and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has revealed the details of his move to Old Trafford in January 2018.

Sanchez was at the centre of one of the most high-profile transfer sagas in recent memory back in the winter window of 2018, with a move to Manchester City seemingly moments away from completion barring a late u-turn.

It was reported at the time that City and Arsenal had been negotiating for several days, with the Gunners demanding £35 million and Etihad officials attempting to lower that sum. While sources close to the player insisted confidence that a move would be completed, no such deal would happen.

A week after such reports emerged, Sanchez would go on to complete a blockbuster move to Manchester United, as the Old Trafford club announced his arrival through the infamous ‘piano on the pitch’ video.

Now, in a new revelation from the player himself, Alexis Sanchez has revealed just how close he came to joining Manchester City, and the nature of his personal relations with Pep Guardiola at the time – a manager whom he worked under at Barcelona.

Speaking during a sit-down conversation with TVNas relayed by La Tercera – Sanchez revealed, “I was about to go to (Manchester) City. I spoke to (Pep) Guardiola every day, he told me, ‘Happy Birthday’. He was like my dad. He was my dad at Barcelona and he was like my dad at City.”

The Chilean continued, “We talked every day, he sent me messages. And everything was ready (for a move to Manchester City), there was a player who was going to go to Arsenal. Then (Arsene) Wenger tells me, ‘You are not leaving because the other player did not want to come and they do not have another’.”

That was the moment when the tide began to turn for the now-34 year-old, as he received a phone call from the then-Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, informing him of his desire to bring him to Old Trafford and take the club’s renowned number seven shirt.

As translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Sanchez continued, “Suddenly the cell phone rings. (Jose) Mourinho tells me: ‘Alexis, here is the seven available for you.’ It wasn’t a money thing, so everyone knows. It was the same at United and City. And he said to me, ‘Here is the seven, we are playing in the Champions League and we are going to give everything’.”

“I wanted to leave at that moment, but I had (Pep) Guardiola’s word. That’s when I said to myself, ‘A Chilean footballer playing for Manchester United, something that has never happened’. With the seven of (Eric) Cantona, (David) Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and now a Chilean had it, it was a dream.

Sanchez closed by stressing his lack of regret at opting for Old Trafford over the Etihad Stadium, but insisted that had he chosen Manchester City, then he would have brought a first ever Champions League title to the Blue side of Manchester by now.

“I don’t regret going to United, things happen for a reason. I would have liked to have gone to City, yes. We would have won the Champions League by now. In the final, I would have done something.”

Manchester City’s January transfer window would not come and go without any business at all that season however, as club officials secured the services of Athletic Bilbao central defender Aymeric Laporte – a player they had admired for a number of seasons.

City would also go on to win their first trophies under Pep Guardiola just weeks and months after the conclusion of the January transfer window, taking home the League Cup trophy at Wembley.

Manchester City would also go on to lift the Premier League title under their new Catalan coach, sparking several years of dominance in the English top-flight that has seen them win a total of four league crowns in the last five seasons.

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