According to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has agreed to join Manchester United for a weekly wage of £350,000 and will be handed a legendary number seven shirt.
The player came very close to joining Manchester City just a week ago, but the club pulled out of the deal due to Arsenal’s demand of £35 million transfer fee.
Sanchez’s contract is running out in the summer and he has made it clear to Arsenal that he will not sign an extension, which is why the club is desperate to get rid of him this month to get some money from the sale.
The Chilean has also set his mind to leave as soon as he can, instead of waiting until the season ends to leave on a free transfer.
Arsene Wenger, who had been trying to convince Sanchez to stay for months, finally admitted on Sunday that his departure could happen in the next 48 hours.
He revealed the forward wasn’t included in the match against Bournemouth because of his “vague” future.
“It could happen today or tomorrow or not at all,” Wenger said, when asked about Sanchez leaving. “That’s why I didn’t want to travel with him today for him to go somewhere else.
“Alexis would have played but this is a difficult period for him. He has always been committed until now.
“He could have moved today or yesterday or not, but it will be decided in the next 48 hours. He is on standby so I decided not to bring him today. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to play.”
Sanchez was constantly linked with a move to City and reunite with the old boss Pep Guardiola last summer. In fact, the transfer looked set to happen on the transfer deadline day, only for Arsenal to pull the plug because they couldn’t get a proper replacement for him in time.
He was again being linked with the move to the current Premier League leaders since the winter transfer window opened until the club officially pulled out of the deal, leaving United with a golden chance to scoop up the player.
United made an initial offer of £25m with Henrikh Mkhitaryan last week, but Arsenal made a counter offer and demanded Anthony Martial plus money instead.
The north London outfit, though, will now accept the original offer. However, a new problem emerged as Mkhitaryan does not want a move to Arsenal.
The Armenian playmaker just signed for United in the summer of 2016 from Borussia Dortmund, and does not want to leave so soon despite the lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho.
He was dropped from the squad for last night’s 3-0 win over Stoke City, and has only made 11 starts in the Premier League this season.
“I would be lying if I say it’s a pure tactical decision,” Mourinho admitted when asked about why Mkhitaryan was excluded.
“It was just a choice of the players that we know, in this moment, they have 100% their heads in Manchester United.
“No doubts about the future. I don’t think it’s easy for a player to play when there are doubts about his future. It’s added pressure that a player doesn’t need, so I think it’s the best for him and for us, while the doubt is in the air, to protect him.”
When asked about Sanchez during a press conference, Mourinho called him “phenomenal” but refused to reveal more information regarding a possible transfer.
“In relation to Alexis Sanchez I don’t say a word, the only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player, apart from that an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this,” he said.
‘The word we can find to be speaking about players of other clubs. If somebody speaks of one of my players to tell we are interested or we are not interested, I wouldn’t be very, very happy.
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player, I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colors so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.
“At the general level what I can say is myself and the Manchester United board, the owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market, we don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player, just to do something, we don’t believe in that.
“What we believe really is there are some players in football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, in March or in July, you have to try and that’s it.”