United were barely given a prayer of snapping up the Arsenal contract rebel before this week.
But over the last 48 hours the odds have been slashed from 18/1 into an odds-on 10/11 with Betfair on them winning the transfer battle.
Manchester City were deemed nailed on to get their man but they are now as big as 15/8 to sign Sanchez. It’s 10/3 for Sanchez to be at Arsenal beyond this month.
Jose Mourinho yesterday refused to deny Manchester United have attempted to hijack City’s bid for Sanchez.
And he inferred that the Arsenal striker is too good a player for Manchester United to ignore if he is available.
The United boss tried hard not to upset the Gunners by talking about Sanchez specifically but still said enough to suggest he wants to sign Sanchez who he describes as “a phenomenal player.”
“At the general level what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board don’t believe a lot in the January market,” he said. “We don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something.
“What we believe really is there are some players in the football world that if you have the chance to sign them in January, March or July, you have to try – and that’s it.
“But in relation to Alexis Sanchez I don’t say a word. The only words I can say is he is a phenomenal player. Apart from that Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this.
“I don’t think it’s either ethical or correct to be speaking about players of other clubs. If somebody says they are interested in one of our players, I would not be very happy.
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player. I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.”
United are understood to have offered to match Arsenal’s asking price of £35m for Sanchez – but part of that would involve Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving Old Trafford for the Emirates.
Earlier in the day, City sources insisted that they will not engage in a bidding war with United for the Chile international.
They are understood to want to pay no more than £20m for Sanchez now – or wait until he becomes a free agent in the summer.