Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly made it clear to contract rebel Alexis Sanchez that he will not be sold to a rival Premier League club. It looks to have ended the possibility of a summer exit unless the Chilean is prepared to leave England altogether.
According to The Times, Wenger has not ruled out selling Sanchez to a foreign club if there is to be a suitable offer in the coming weeks.
Exactly who that could be remains to be seen. Paris Saint-Germain were thought to be keen, but their €222m capture of Barcelona superstar Neymar will likely stretch their legal financial resources to the limit and an approach for Sanchez appears unlikely.
However, what it means is that Sanchez almost certainly won't be a Manchester City player come September 1 - a reunion with ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is of great personal appeal.
He had also been linked to Chelsea earlier in the summer and in the latter stages of last season, but Wenger won't be swayed by the looming threat of free agency, while The Times report explains that he told Sanchez that a move within the Premier League was a no-go as soon as the player returned to training on Tuesday, after an extended summer break and a bout of flu.
Sanchez recently entered the final 12 months of his Arsenal contract and has shown no indication is willing to sign another one unless the club unrealistically pulls out all the financial stops.
It has been suggested in recent weeks that the 28-year-old may have deliberately priced himself out of an Arsenal extension in a bid to force the club's hand. As things stand, Sanchez will become a free agent next summer and will be able to join any club he wants for free.