Sanchez on Red alert
City drop out of race for Arsenal striker as United trounce Stoke
Manchester United will battle with Chelsea for Alexis Sanchez's signature after Manchester City last night walked away from a deal for the Arsenal star.
On the field, United moved to within 12 points of City with their comfortable win at home to Stoke City.
The loss underlined the task ahead of Stoke boss Paul Lambert, appointed yesterday after Martin O'Neill turned down the chance to manage the club.
Stoke's Stephen Ireland was making his first Premier League start in almost three years but United had the game wrapped up before half time, goals from Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku adding a third.
United will offer Arsenal £30m plus plus unwanted midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their bid to sign Sanchez.
City have decided not to pursue Sanchez following crunch talks yesterday, frightened off by wage demands of £400,000 a week, but Chelsea are now being said to have made a late bid to rival United's interest.