Dwight Yorke has described Alex Sanchez as the "spark" Manchester United are missing, and has urged his former club to sign the coveted forward from Arsenal this month ahead of rivals Manchester City.
The club from the blue half of Manchester have been long-term suitors for the explosive Chile attacker, but their neighbours from the red suburb are increasingly interested in signing him this month.
Reports emerged on Friday that City had baulked at Arsenal's alleged demands of £35m (Dh176.5m) for the Chile international in January, while agents are likely to receive another £5m on top, totaling a £40m deal before the player's potential wages are taken into account.
Pep Guardiola'sPremier League leaders are understood to be unwilling to go beyond £20m, given they could get former Barcelona man Sanchez for nothing when his contract expires in the summer.
That has seemingly alerted United, and former Red Devils striker Yorke says Jose Mourinho should "absolutely" go for the deal.
"He will add value to the team. He's got a spark that at times we are lacking," the 46-year-old told Sport360 after competing in the Abu Dhabi Invitational at Yas Links Golf Club Saturday.
"He's come to the Premier League and been a success. He's a great player and if United can get him, that will certainly give them a chance to win something at the end of the season.
"He's a quality player. You want players to improve your team and Sanchez can do that to United."
Although Sanchez leaving the Emirates for Old Trafford rather than the Etihad would be one in the eye for City and Guardiola, Yorke agreed United have a history of capitalising on opportunity.
Sir Alex Ferguson famously signed Roy Keane from under the noses of Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1993, agreeing a deal with the Irishman on a Saturday when a paperwork issue had prevented Keane from signing for Kenny Dalglish's side the previous day.
And Yorke is not surprised to hear of United's interest in a player he believes is one of the best in the world.
"What I can always say is United have always been interested in the best players out there," added Yorke, who scored 65 goals in 147 games during his trophy-laden four-year spell at United.
"And Sanchez obviously is one of the best players, not only in the Premier League, but around the world. So it's not a surprise that United would be trying to get him.
"United and Jose (Mourinho) both have form for that (capitalising on a situation), and why not. I don't think anything's complete. City showed interest in him before, but if there's a chink in the armour, that's always been part and parcel of football.
"It comes as no surprise, even though some may think it's a bit of a cheap ploy."
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