Manchester City are determined to grab the initiative in the race to sign Chilean ‘Boy Wonder’ Alexis Sanchez.
The move to land the Blues’ top summer target appeared dead in the water a fortnight ago when Barcelona seemed set to clinch the signature of the 22-year-old Udinese star.
But that deal stalled over Barca’s refusal to go above their £20.5m valuation, and the refusal of Bojan Krkic to be used as a makeweight in the deal.
With Inter Milan and Juventus already foundering as the stakes get higher, City were today prepared to up their initial £22m offer to around £27m – a price likely to be accepted.
City will also explore the prospect of including a player in the deal with Vladimir Weiss one possibility.
Barca’s interest has flagged as they have stepped up their interest in Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi and Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas – and they announced they have a £35m ceiling on their summer spending.
Real Madrid are the only other club capable and willing to go head-to-head with City, but they seem to be more intent on landing Atletico Madrid’s Sergio Aguero and Brazilian star Neymar.
The biggest stumbling block could be persuading Sanchez to move to England as he has already said he would prefer a move to Barcelona or to remain in Italy.
That is where Roberto Mancini comes in – he helped to talk David Silva into giving up the Spanish sunshine to join City, and the Blues’ top brass are hoping he can do the same with Sanchez.