LONDON - Kevin de Bruyne believes Alexis Sanchez will only help to improve Manchester City if, or indeed when, he eventually arrives from Arsenal.
City have trailed Sanchez for some time, agreeing a £55 million (about R925m) deal in principle for the Chilean last summer, only for Arsenal to pull the plug on the transfer after failing to secure a replacement.
Sanchez’s contract at the Emirates expires this summer and City are confident of either securing his signature for a cut-price fee this month or on a free transfer at the end of the season.
A recent knee injury to Gabriel Jesus has given City an incentive to push for Sanchez sooner rather than later however and an agreement could be reached between the two clubs within the next week.
Speaking after Tuesday’s hard-fought Carabao Cup semi-final first leg win over Bristol City, De Bruyne appeared to suggest that Sanchez’s arrival at the Etihad was more of a case of “when” and not “if”.
The City playmaker also admitted that although City are enjoying an excellent season under Guardiola, a player of Sanchez’s quality would always be a welcome addition to the squad.
“A very good player,” he said of Sanchez. “Obviously, we will see what happens in this transfer period.
“We don’t have to take care about that anyway. If a good player comes to us that is better, if he doesn’t come we do it with the team we have. We are on a good period already, the whole season.
De Bruyne added: “Everybody is doing a good job. When he comes he will add something to the team.”
The Belgian’s own future is in no doubt but that did not prevent City from recently opening negotiations with him over a new contract.
De Bruyne, set to put pen to paper on a lucrative six-year deal worth up to £235 000-a-week, expects that talks between the club and his representatives will “probably” be completed soon.
“We are still in negotiations,” De Bruyne said. “I am waiting for an offer from the club but my agent has been on holiday for three weeks. There is nothing really new for the moment.
“I’m not in a hurry. I still have three-and-a-half years on the contract,” he added. “Negotiations are going good but they are going quietly. That is the way I think it should be.”
City are also believed to be in talks with West Brom about signing Jonny Evans as Guardiola looks to add a defender to his squad this month. It is understood, City representatives spoke to the Baggies this week, with Arsenal also interested in landing Evans, for a reported fee of £20 million.
Daily Mail/The Independent