Alexis Sanchez has reached an agreement to join Manchester United this month but the move is being held up by a deal to send Henrikh Mkhitaryan the other way.
Man United have hijacked Manchester City’s bid to sign the Chilean international by offering to pay £35m alongside throwing in the Armenian, who has failed to impress this season, as part of the deal.
The 28-year-old didn’t feature in the match-day squad for United’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Monday, with Jose Mourinho noting after the game that there was a strong chance he would leave.
And according to Gianluca di Marzio’s French staff, Sanchez has agreed terms with Jose Mourinho and will go through once Mkhitaryan strikes a deal to go the other way.
Gianluca Di Marzio's French reporter @Guillaumemp: Alexis Sanchez has agreed terms with Manchester United, but deal is waiting on Henrikh Mkhitaryan doing the same with Arsenal.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 15, 2018
Nobody can fault the way Mourinho leapt on a deal widely regarded as done already and implored the United board – unable to sign Ivan Perisic in the summer – to splash out big on Sanchez and, to keep with the aquatic references, blow his neighbours out of the water.
This is a serious statement from a club that has, over the last few months, suffered criticism for their lack of ambition compared to Man City. There aren’t many better ways to respond than by pinching Arsenal’s biggest goal threat.