City ‘refuse’ to sell to Arsenal again with Pep ‘kicking himself’ after £77m pair ‘transform’ Gunners
Man City are reportedly ‘kicking themselves’ after selling Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal and will not be making the same mistake in the future.
Pep Guardiola gave the green light for Jesus and Zinchenko to join his former assistant Mikel Arteta at the Emirates last summer.
Arsenal paid £45million for the Brazilian before landing the Ukrainian defender for £30m plus £2m in add-ons.
At the time, City clearly did not see the Gunners as direct rivals for the Premier League title.
However, Jesus and Zinchenko have played a huge part in transforming Arteta’s side from top-four hopefuls to title favourites.
Arsenal currently sit six points clear of the reigning champions, who have a game in hand and host their title rivals in the Premier League on April 26.
The two sides have faced off twice this season with the Citizens coming out victorious both times.
They were due to play each other on matchday 12 back in October; however, the game was postponed so Arsenal could host PSV in the Europa League to avoid forfeiting the game following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The fixture was played on February 15 with City winning 3-1. This came just over two weeks after Guardiola’s men beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round.
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This month’s encounter at the Etihad is as close to a title decider as it gets and Arsenal will need Jesus and Zinchenko fit and firing when they return to their former stomping ground.
Jesus has done an excellent job leading the line this season, while Zinchenko has starred in his versatile left-back role.
Given their influence under Arteta, it is being reported that City will refuse to sell any first-team players to the Gunners in the future.
According to Football Insider, City are now ‘kicking themselves’ as they trail Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title.
They will ‘reject any Arsenal offers for first-team stars’ after last summer’s business ‘transformed’ the Londoners into title contenders.
The City hierarchy are adamant there will not be a repeat this summer and will not even allow ‘fringe players’ to switch the Etihad for the Emirates.
In the past, it has been Arsenal selling to City with Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy two of many to leave the Gunners to win multiple trophies in Manchester.
Arsenal will hope City’s title aspirations are hindered by the fact they are still competing in the Champions League and FA Cup.
Guardiola’s side face Bayern Munich in what should be a competitive European quarter-final.
Meanwhile, they take on Championship outfit Sheffield United in the FA Cup semis and are obviously the strong favourites to progress to the final.
Arsenal only have the Premier League title race to focus on after being eliminated from the Europa League by Sporting Lisbon.
City host struggling Leicester City on Saturday evening before the Gunners make the short journey to take on London rivals West Ham on Sunday.
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