Recent reports had indicated that the Chilean international was bound for Barcelona, but Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo has insisted that no agreement has been reached and has now put a price on his prize asset's head.
“Is £44 million too much? No, it doesn't seem enough, I have no doubt that if he stayed with us for another year he would be worth even more than that,” he said in The Sun.
The 22-year-old is said to favour a move to the Nou Camp, but the Catalan giants are unlikely to offer as much as £44 million and this latest statement could open the door for Robert Mancini's side.
The Blues could face competition from their local rivals - Premier League champions and Champions League finalists Manchester United - who are thought to have been tracking the in-demand forward. However, their recent acquisition of Aston Villa's Ashley Young may have now ruled them out of the race.
Although Spain is still Sanchez’s likely destination, Pozzo is clearly driving a hard bargain and has been talking up the winger’s ability.
“He's the best player of his generation. He's like Cristiano Ronaldo when he was 22,” he said.
“We know when we have a diamond - Alexis Sanchez is one.”
Sanchez is thought to want his future settled before he spearheads Chile’s Copa America challenge starting on July 1, so further developments are expected in the coming days.
By Tim Groves
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