Old Trafford boss wants Stadio Friuli wizard and will fight Eastlands neighbours to get him.
Manchester United are ready to gazump neighbours Manchester City and bid £27million for Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez.
The Daily Telegraph reports the 22-year-old’s agent met with both United and City officials last week to thrash out personal terms for the player.
The news comes out of the blue for the Eastlands board who believed they had all but sealed the deal after months of tracking.
Despite City’s vast spending power they will not want to get into a tug-of-war with United over the player.
United still have a greater global appeal than City when it comes to signings, even if the latter also qualify for the Champions League next season.
It is also believed Sanchez is a boyhood Red Devil supporter and has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
If the United deal were to go through it is unclear where that would leave Aston Villa winger Ashley Young, who was expected to sign for the Reds.
It could open the door for Liverpool who are on the lookout for wingers, although City could turn their attention to him instead.