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Man City eye Sanchez as deadline day hots up


Arsenal’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez reacts during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON /

Manchester City were reported to have upped their bid for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez on Thursday as a record-breaking transfer window sped towards a dramatic conclusion.

British media reported that having seen a £50 million ($64.4 million, 54.3 million euros) offer for Sanchez rebuffed, City had returned with a second bid of £55 million plus add-ons.

Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur completed moves for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Serge Aurier respectively as record Premier League spending soared above £1.2 billion.

Paris Saint-Germain’s sensational 222 million euros ($264 million) capture of Neymar from Barcelona earlier this month has sent transfer fees skyrocketing across the continent.

In addition to Brazilian icon Neymar, PSG are also poised to wrap up a deal for 18-year-old Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.

The French teenager is expected to join on a season-long loan before signing for 180 million euros next year in a move designed to prevent PSG falling foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Barcelona have already spent 105 million euros, rising to 145 million euros, to prise France starlet Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.

But Liverpool continue to resist Barca’s attempts to lure Neymar’s Brazil team-mate Philippe Coutinho to Camp Nou, having rejected three offers for the playmaker.

Liverpool and Arsenal, who may need to replace both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez, have been linked with Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.

However, with deadline day clashing with a round of World Cup qualifying matches, Lemar spent Thursday preparing for France’s game against the Netherlands at Stade de France.

Liverpool are reported to have spent £35 million on Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is believed to have signed a five-year contract.

The 24-year-old England midfielder is thought to have rejected a new contract offer from Arsenal and an approach from Chelsea, both of whom were prepared to pay him more money.

– Swansea swoop for Sanches –
“I know my choice might come as a surprise to many and the decision to leave was tough after being a part of the club for so many years,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said in a Twitter post.

“But I feel that this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain follows Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Dominic Solanke through the door at Anfield, while Naby Keita will arrive from RB Leipzig next year in a club-record deal worth over £48 million.

Making room for the new arrivals, Belgian striker Divock Origi has joined Wolfsburg on a season-long loan.

Spurs are believed to have paid £23 million to sign controversial Ivorian right-back Aurier from PSG.

Aurier, 24, received a two-month suspended prison sentence last year for assaulting a police officer and was banned by PSG for directing a homophobic slur at former coach Laurent Blanc.

In an appeal to Spurs’ supporters, he said: “This is a fresh start for me and I will do everything to make the Spurs fanbase, which is huge and diverse, proud of me.”

Swansea City pulled off a major coup by securing the services of 20-year-old Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on a season-long loan.

Sanches, voted Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016, will rejoin forces with Swansea manager Paul Clement, who was previously Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Bayern.

“We wanted Renato Sanches to go to a club where he could play at a high level and have a coach who counts on him,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German football magazine Kicker.

While the transfer window closes on Thursday in England, France, Germany and Italy, Spanish clubs have an extra day to complete any deals.

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