Alexis Sanchez completes transfer to Manchester United; Henrikh Mkhitaryan joins Arsenal
It’s been rumbling on for months but the transfer saga involving Chilean international Alexis Sanchez has finally come to an end.
While Sanchez joined Manchester United from Arsenal, Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan went the other way in a rare transfer swap involving two leading English Premier League clubs.
“I am fulfilling a dream that I have since I was a kid: to play for the world’s best team,” Sanchez wrote in one of several Instagram posts.
Meanwhile Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described the 29-year-old Mkhitaryan as “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,” Wenger told the Arsenal website.
‘The biggest mercenary in football’
The 29-year-old Sanchez had widely been expected to join rivals Manchester City in the summer transfer window but a deal fell through on deadline day.
Despite City reviving their interest in January, and Chelsea inquiring about a deal, the 29-year-old opted to join Jose Mourinho in the red half of Manchester.
As the saga played out former Arsenal defender Martin Keown called Sanchez “the biggest mercenary in football,” while another former Gunner Ian Wright said in December the Chilean had “clocked off.”
It has been widely reported that Sanchez’s weekly salary at United will range from $420,000 to $700,000.
On Instagram, Sanchez did not reference anyone directly as he defended his record at Arsenal, writing: “There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage.
“I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister (Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger) to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.”
Mourinho believes Sanchez is “one of the best attacking players in the world.”
“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,” added the United manager.