Manchester City could be forced into a January move for Alexis Sanchez after two rival clubs set to make bids for the Arsenal contract rebel next month.
The Manchester Evening News has alleged that City's hand will be forced for the talismanic forward as manager Pep Guardiola frets over missing out on a key transfer target.
Sanchez's Gunners deal expires next June and he is free to talk to foreign clubs over signing for them on a free transfer straight after the New Year.
Arsenal are mulling over whether to keep their star man for the last six months of his contract and then allow him to walk away for nothing, or try and cash in on the Chile international ahead of that end date.
Two unnamed clubs are thought to have told Arsene Wenger's side that they are prepared to pay whatever is necessary to land Sanchez's signature ahead of other would-be suitors.
That has led to Guardiola to apparently instruct his board to put swift plans in place to table their own offer for the 28-year-old as the Spaniard fears missing out on the attacker he chased in the summer.
City saw a deadline day £60m bid for Sanchez rebuffed by Arsenal in the last window but retain a major interest in prising him away from the Emirates in the coming weeks or months.
Guardiola had hoped to hold out until next summer and bring Sanchez in on a Bosman deal, but with other parties now circling it will be in their best interests to make a move for him as soon as possible.
Sanchez worked with Guardiola during the goalscorer's time at Barcelona, and would likely enjoy a good working relationship with his former boss again if he traded London for the north west. The ex-Udinese ace has been locked in contract talks with Arsenal for almost 18 months but has refused to sign a new contract over the club's insistence not to hand him outlandish wages.
Wenger admitted recently that he would not allow Sanchez or fellow contract rebel Mesut Ozil to leave in January, but also stated that such a situation could change if something "extraordinary" happens.