Tuesday 21 August 2018

Manchester United prepare to unveil Alexis Sanchez...but when will the announcement arrive?

Alexis Sanchez and (inset) Mkhitaryan
Alexis Sanchez and (inset) Mkhitaryan
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Alexis Sanchez has successfully undergone a medical at Manchester United's Carrington training base after another hectic day of activity ahead of the most talked about deal of this transfer window.

Sanchez flew to Manchester on Sunday morning to complete the formalities of his free transfer to United, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in London to wrap up the final details of his move to Arsenal.

Confirmation that this is a swap deal and no transfer fee is involved has added to the intrigue around a deal that few predicted heading into this month's transfer window, with both clubs likely to claim that are satisfied with their end of the transaction.

Arsenal are off-loading a player who was desperate to leave and distracting their plans for the future, with their capture of Mkhitaryan on a free transfer something of a coup as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-time admirer of the Armenian midfielder.

There are some suggestions that Mkhitaryan needed some persuading to leave United for Arsenal, but the huge finances involved in the deal along with the prospect of regular first team starts under Wenger's watch appears to have ensured all parties signed up to the joint moves.

Mkhitaryan and his agent are likely to have secured a severance payment from United for the early termination of his contract, with the player's status as a free transfer allowing him to secure huge signing on fees from Arsenal.

Now all that remains is for the joint unveiling to be announced, with both United and Arsenal likely to work together to ensure the announcements are made in tandem.

There is an expectation that confirmation of the deal will arrive on Monday and with Mkhitaryan ineligible to play for Arsenal in their Carabao Cup tie against Chelsea on Wednesday, he is set to make his Arsenal debut in next Tuesday's Premier League game at Swansea.

Sanchez may play a part in United's FA Cup fourth round game against Yeovil on Friday, with sales of the No.7 jersey he is set to inherit when his move his confirmed likely to become the big shirt seller if 2018.

Both Arsenal and United have prepared social media videos to confirm the arrival of their new star names, with fans refreshing their Twitter feeds every few minutes waiting for confirmation of the deal set to be put of their agonised wait imminently.

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