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Former Liverpool director Christian Purslow.

"We will never quite know the sequence of events that led to that potential transaction winding away into a United purchase,"

"It has the look from the outside, I don't know this to be true, that Arsenal out of nowhere had their dreams come true.

"Rather than being in a unilateral discussion with City taking their best player nearly on a free they had a little auction going when Mourinho and Antonio Conte both spoke up in early January that actually getting Sanchez was a once in a generation opportunity to buy a top player for not much money down.

"I think Arsenal suddenly had a little auction going. I suspect when Sanchez's agent said to Manchester City's executive team: 'you might have to improve my deal up a bit because United are here' - that [would have] felt like a breach in trust.

"They thought they had a handshake deal at best. I bet they were very angry about that and I suspect they thought actually let's walk away from this deal leaving Manchester United to sweep him up.

"Brilliant outcome for United, pretty good outcome for Arsenal on balance but I suspect not a very happy camp at City around the way that deal was conducted."