Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expects a number of clubs to be monitoring Alexis Sanchez’s contract situation at Arsenal.
The Chile playmaker, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona, has just over a year left on his deal at the Emirates Stadium.
That has led to speculation the Gunners might have to cash in on the player this summer to avoid losing him on a free transfer.
City are one of the clubs that have been linked with the 28-year-old and while Guardiola has never indicated any interest, he does think rival clubs will be watching developments closely.
He said: “Put it that Kevin De Bruyne had one year left on his contract, see how many teams would have him. Normally the big players have two, three years (on a) contract.
“All the clubs in the summertime are going to try to improve. How do you improve the teams? Better players. Of course (people will watch) all the players around the world. Alexis is one of them. They are going to know his situation.”
Sanchez never truly established himself at the Nou Camp but Guardiola points out that all players look inferior at Barca when compared to Lionel Messi.
“Messi creates that,” said Guardiola, whose side face Sanchez and Arsenal in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
“All players that go there and start training with them realise immediately they cannot compete, they will always be below (Messi).
“Even the big players that believe they are top, they go there and they understand. Messi is unique.
“But Alexis is just one step below, a fantastic player. I am so happy how he is playing there, especially this year, scoring goals and assists and so on.
“The quality means when Arsenal were tied – free-kick, goal. Good players make these kind of things, the difference. Alexis is a player of that level.”