Pep Guardiola calls on his Manchester City players to focus on football amid talk of Alexis Sanchez transfer

Pep Guardiola has told his Manchester City players to focus on maintaining their dominant form rather than worry about the potential signing of Alexis Sanchez.

City remain the favourites to sign the Arsenal forward, despite suggestions of interest from Manchester United. Sanchez, who is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium at the end of this season, has made clear that he intends to leave, and it is understood that City is his preferred destination.

The Premier League leaders had a £60m bid for the Chile international accepted in August, only for the proposed transfer to collapse as Arsenal failed in their attempt to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco as a replacement.

City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne suggested after their midweek EFL Cup victory over Bristol City that Sanchez would “add something to the team”. Guardiola, though, wants nothing to distract his players as they prepare for Sunday’s Premier League visit to Liverpool, and continue their pursuit of four trophies.

Asked about Sanchez, he said: “I understand completely why you ask this question; it’s your job. But you know my answer. I am focused on Liverpool. As a manager, you have a lot of things to deal with, and you have to choose which one you want to be focused on.

“I want to be focused on what we have to do on the field. Playing the game, that is my only concern. So I would not like my players to read what I’ve said, or see me on TV, and see the manager is talking about another thing, and then thinking that they are not important.

Gabriel Jesus was injured against Crystal Palace (Getty)

“What’s important is what happens over 90 minutes on the field. That is what I want to speak about. The players have two choices: Follow what you [the media] say, or follow me. I hope to convince them to follow what I am talking about. It’s about football, football, football on the pitch.”

Sanchez would offer an extra attacking option for Guardiola, who is hopeful that…

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