Friday 23 March 2018

Confirmed - Manchester United unveil Alexis Sanchez as their new signing with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading to Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez Newsdesk Newsdesk

Alexis Sanchez has completed his move from Arsenal to Manchester United.

The deal, which will see Henrikh Mkhitaryan move the opposite way from Old Trafford to the Emirates Stadium, as announced via United's Twitter account at 6pm.

Reports suggest Sanchez will earn close to £500,000 per week at Old Trafford, including bonuses and image rights.

Speaking about his transfer, Alexis Sanchez said: “I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans.

"The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down. I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United’s first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here.”

Jose Mourinho commented: “Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players. He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.

“I would like to wish Henrikh all the success and happiness that I am sure he is going to get. He is a player that we will not forget, especially for his contribution to our Europa League victory.”

United moved for the forward earlier this month when it became clear he wanted to leave Arsenal during the current transfer window rather than wait until he came out of contract in the summer.

Prior to that he had been expected to join Manchester City, who had a deal worth up to £60million accepted for Sanchez last August but could not complete a deal on transfer deadline day.

City considered bidding again in January but pulled out last week due to the rising costs involved. The Premier League leaders did not want to pay a fee of more than £20million while United were not only willing to meet Arsenal's £35million asking price, but offer much higher wages.

The fee has since been cancelled out by United's willingness to trade Mkhitaryan, who is valued at the same price, in a straight-swap deal.

Sanchez has scored 80 goals in 166 appearances since joining Arsenal from Barcelona in 2014.

Mkhitaryan, 29, has played 63 times for United after arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, scoring 13 goals, although he has recently struggled for game time under Jose Mourinho.

On his move, Henrikh said: “I’m very happy that we could finish this deal and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream come true because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal. Now that I’m here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history.”

Arsène Wenger added: “Henrikh is a very complete player. He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances and he’s very committed as well. I must say he’s a player who has all the attributes.

"We’re replacing a very good player with a very good player, a world-class player with a world-class player.

"Mkhitaryan can play on the wing or in midfield, so I believe he can play very well in many positions. That can help us as well because he can play together with Ozil as well as playmaker, so overall it’s a good move.

"He's a very complete player. He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances and he’s very committed as well. I must say he’s a player who has all the attributes. Maybe where he’s a bit short is on goalscoring but he has improved that. If you look at the number of goals he’s scored in his career, it’s quite impressive overall.

"I’m very excited to get a player in who will be committed and focused. It is vital as well to have players who have experience, because we have a very good bunch of young players but we know that it’s not sufficient in the Premier League today to put them all in together. You also need a good weight of experience in your team and he will contribute to that."

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