Just football

Alexis Sanchez joins United in swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, in a swap deal with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Sanchez, who was out of contract at Arsenal at the end of the season, has signed a four-and-half year contract  with the Red Devils which will earn him between £350,000-a-week to £400,000-a-week.

The 29-year-old scored 80 goals in 166 appearances for Arsenal since joining from Barcelona for £30m in July 2014, and was last season’s top scorer with 30 goals in all competitions.

“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world,” said Sanchez. “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.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said:

“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.”

The former Udinese player almost joined Manchester City in a £60m move last summer, but his deadline-day transfer collapsed when Arsenal failed to sign Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have confirmed that Armenian midfielder Mkhitaryan had completed his move to London on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Mkhitaryan, who joined United from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3m in July 2016, scored 13 goals in 63 appearances for United.

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

Manager Arsene 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.”

His former coach Mourinho also paid tribute to his contribution, saying: “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.”

The 29-year-old has made only 10 Premier League starts this season, and it is understood there was a breakdown in trust between him and United manager Jose Mourinho.

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