Friday 20 April 2018

Why there has been a delay in confirming Alexis Sanchez's move to Manchester United as little Yeovil set to be the big winners

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Alexis Sanchez could be in line to make his Manchester United debut at Yeovil, with the swap deal involving Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan still yet to be agreed between all parties.

Neither player has undergone a medical with their perspective employers as discussion over a potential fee to be paid to United by Arsenal and Mkhitaryan's possible pay-off from the Old Tarfford club are still points of discussion.

There was an expectation that the deal would be confirmed on Thursday or Friday morning, with both deals needing to be registered with the Football Association by 12 noon on Friday for the players to be eligible to play in this weekend's Premier League matches.

United boss Jose Mourinho provided this update at his latest press conference on Friday: "Nothing new, I think clearly everybody knows that we are there and especially when Arsenal's manager speaks so clearly like he did there is no point in trying to hide or to deny," stated Mourinho.

"It's not done, not done at all, so in this moment Mkhitaryan our player, Sanchez an Arsenal player and with a match tomorrow I want to switch off and focus what is the most important thing, which is the match.

"I speak with you about him one day if we sign him. At the moment he is an Arsenal player."

Yet Arsenal insiders have confirmed that Armenian midfielder Mkhitaryan has yet to agree terms on his move to the North London club and a medical has not yet been arranged for the player at the club's London Colney training centre.

Mkhitaryan arrived for training at United's Carrington base on Friday morning with his future still to be resolved, but all parties in the most talked about deal of this January’s transfer window remain relaxed over a deal that is expected to go through in the coming days.

The prospects of Sanchez and Mkhitaryan playing prominent roles in the Premier League this weekend without taking part in training sessions with their prospective new team-mates was always remote, with League Two side Yeovil now likely to benefit from the delay in finalising the Sanchez deal.

The Chilean was tipped to make his first start in a United shirt against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, but that appearance will now be pushed back to next Friday’s FA Cup fourth round game at Yeovil's tight Huish Park ground.

Just 1395 fans turned up for Yeovil's last home game against Forest Green, with a 9,500 crowd expected to attend the cup clash against United, when Sanchez could be a high profile addition to the cast list.

Meanwhile, Arsenal sources are confirming that they are in talks with Borrusia Dortmund over a possible deal for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who appears to be keen to join the Gunners, but Arsenal are no longer believed to be interested in a move for Bordeaux's Brazilian star Malcom.

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