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Sanchez deal 'so close'; Wenger waits

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Pep Guardiola focused on Liverpool clash, not signing Alexis Sanchez

ESPN FC's Mark Ogden says Man City are prepared to abandon their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez after costs have escalated over recent weeks.
The ESPN FC crew examine the possibility of Manchester United swooping in and landing Alexis Sanchez ahead of Manchester City.
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner feels a potential move for Alexis Sanchez to Man United would stunt the growth of a few United youngsters.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted he's having to rest Sergio Aguero due to Gabriel Jesus' injury, as he reiterated his desire to recruit more attacking talent.
With Pep Guardiola continuing to field strong teams in all competitions, the FC guys question if he is putting his star players at risk.

MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola has refused to comment on Manchester City's interest in signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal during the January transfer window.

Sanchez, 29, has been linked with City and local rivals Manchester United ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the season.

But Guardiola insists his focus is on City's Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

"I'm not going to answer, I understand the question, you do your job, you know my answer, I am focused on [the game against Liverpool]. If I was my players I wouldn't want my manager talking about other things," he told a news conference.

"Everyone knows the quality of Alexis -- but it's Liverpool I'm sorry I can't answer about Alexis and other players."

Premier League leaders City go into Sunday's game against fourth-placed Liverpool 15 points clear at the top of the table.

But Guardiola maintained that the game at Anfield was crucial in City's bid to become champions.

"If you want to win titles you have to win these kind of games," he said. "This season we have done that but we still have to go to Anfield and to Tottenham.

"But Liverpool is such an important game, to realise again if we are able to do big things in this season, in important stages, in the Champions League.

"To see ourselves, when we arrive in Basel, knockout games -- how is our behaviour? We did it in Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, and we'll see on Sunday how we do."

Guardiola also confirmed Gabriel Jesus could return from injury before the end of the month.

The Brazil international suffering a medial ligament injury during the goalless draw against Crystal Palace in December, but it now looks like he could return sooner than expected.

"[He] was in Barcelona yesterday with Dr. Cugat," Guardiola said. "I think he could be ready in two or three weeks for Basel in the Champions League."

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