Tag: Manchester United

Henrikh Mkhitaryan agrees swap with Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal

Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has agreed to join Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez set to move in the opposite direction in a direct player swap.

Sanchez, who was initially named in Arsenal’s match-day squad to face Crystal Palace on Saturday, was allowed to leave the team hotel late on Friday night after being told by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger that there had been a breakthrough in negotiations over his transfer to Manchester United.

The player subsequently travelled north to complete his medical at Manchester while a deal to bring Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Emirates Stadium in exchange is also nearing completion.

Armenia international Mkhitaryan, 28, will have a medical over Sunday and Monday, while Chile forward Sanchez, 29, will have his on Sunday.

Sanchez is believed to be signing a contract at Old Trafford worth as much as £14m a year after tax, or £500,000 per week, having at first seemed poised to join City. On the other hand, the length of Mkhitaryan’s contract and his salary remains undisclosed.

An announcement is now expected in the next 48 hours.

Mkhitaryan previously signed for the United for £26.3m from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016, and has made 63 appearances for United — 22 this season — scoring 13 goals.

Sanchez, meanwhile, scored 80 goals in 166 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal since joining them from Barcelona for £35m in July 2014.

The Chile international, whose contract Arsenal was due to expire in the summer, had looked set to join Manchester City last August and earlier this month, before it emerged this week that City had decided not to pursue their interest in signing Sanchez during the current transfer window.

Gerard Pique signs Barca contract extension with €500m buyout clause

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has agreed to a contract extension with the Catalan club that runs through to 2022.

Barca has also armed the new contract to include a 500m euro (£440m) buyout clause after losing Brazilian superstar Neymar in an aggressive contract buyout by Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

“The club and the player have agreed terms on a new deal through to June 30, 2022. We will announce when the official signing will take place in a couple of days,” FC Barcelona announced in a statement on their website.

Barcelona-born Pique was part of the club’s youth system between 1997 and 2004 before four seasons at Old Trafford brought just 23 appearances in all competitions.

However, Pique, 30, has since played 422 games for the Catalan club after rejoining from Manchester United in 2008, increasingly steady presence as centre-back with the Catalans winning three Champions Leagues and six Spanish Liga titles during his tenure.

The club, who secured the Copa del Rey trophy last season but missed out on the La Liga trophy, is also currently top the Spanish top-flight with a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid.

The well-spoken Spanish International has also gathered more than 20 honours with the club, including six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, and was also part of the Spain side that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Manchester City to end pursuit of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez

Manchester City has chose to quit the pursuit of their interest in signing Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez after the club have decided the cost of pursuing the Chile International would be prohibitively expensive.

It was understood that City anager Pep Guardiola, the club’s owner Khaldoon al Mubarak and other senior officials are all in agreement that the wages being demanded by Sanchez would have put him ahead of all City’s star men, something the club decided they would not do.

Their departure from the bid war thus leaves Manchester United as frontrunners to sign the former FC Barcelona player, with the Reds Devils indicating that they are willing to meet the Gunners’ £35m asking price for the forward.

United’s prospective terms are also thought to include Henrikh Mkhitaryan being part of a swap deal.

Additionally, there is still yet to be concrete base for a deal; after his side’s 3-0 victory over Stoke on Monday night, United manager Jose Mourinho  commented on the transfer saga ambiguously: “There is no news on Sanchez. He is an Arsenal player; if he stays it’s great for Arsenal, if he comes to us, great for us, if he goes to another club, great for them.”

“There are probably other clubs also interested and trying and I shouldn’t talk about a player who is an Arsenal player. I am not confident but also not unconfident. If he moves I think we have a chance.”

However, City still believes that Sanchez would prefer to join them, given his past relationship with Guardiola and the fact he pushed to join them in the summer, but they view it as highly unlikely Sanchez will drop his financial demands to a level that would allow them to resume talks.