Man City leading Sanchez race

Manchester City are leading the chase for in-demand Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez, according to Udinese chairman Gianpaolo Pozzo.

The 22-year-old helped the Italian club qualify for the Champions League last season where his performances have attracted the interest of several of Europe's elite clubs, including City's cross-city rivals Manchester United and Barcelona.

However, Pozzo has reportedly slapped a £44 million price tag on his prized asset, a fee that only the Citizens could be willing to match.

"Inter, Juve, Barca and Manchester City are all interested in him," Pozzo told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I think there is a 50 percent chance that he will stay in Udine. However, if he was to leave, I would say City have the highest probability of success."

Sanchez is under contract at the Stadio Fruili until 2014, but is expected to leave the club by the end of the transfer window.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking the progress of the young Chilean winger since the World Cup last summer, although his interest is thought to have cooled once he heard of the reported asking price.

The same could be said of Champions League winners Barcelona, who ended their pursuit last month after out-of-favour striker Bojan refused to move in the other direction, while Inter Milan also saw negotiations recently break down.

Pozzo added: "Concrete offers regarding the real value of the player have not arrived yet.

"We did speak to Inter but we have not spoken to them since to reach an agreement. Things are nevertheless done at the last minute."

By James Martini