Manchester United will announce the signing of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez on a long-term deal on Monday or Tuesday, with the club awaiting a minor piece of paperwork before completing the signing.
Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will go the other way in one of the biggest January transfers in Man United’s history.
According to the BBC’s David Ornstein, an announcement will be delayed due to work permit requirements that will delay the player-swap deal becoming official.
#MUFC #AFC confirmation of Sanchez/Mkhitaryan swap Mon/Tue as work permits need updating. Arsenal stepping up Aubameyang pursuit – confident but will drag as must agree fee & possibility of player going other way to #BVB If done no significant funds available for further signings
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 21, 2018
As both Chilean international Sanchez and Armenian great Mkhitaryan are non-EU players, their work permits must be updated at their new respective clubs before the move can go through. The clubs will provide confirmation of the swap once that process has been completed.
Mkhitaryan, meanwhile, is in London and expected to be undergoing his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney Training Ground across Sunday and Monday.
The Armenian reportedly reached a ‘total agreement’ with Arsenal on Saturday after some days of negotiations. Sanchez had been expected to join United’s local title rivals Manchester City either this month or in the summer when his deal at Arsenal expired.
However, United swooped in, initially with the offer of more money and then with the possibility of including Mkhitaryan in the deal, a player who has fallen out with Jose Mourinho and whose performances have declined drastically in the last few months.
He’ll be given a new lease of life at the Emirates, while United are getting a world-class player without paying a transfer fee in Sanchez, who is likely to become the club’s number 7.
The iconic shirt has been vacant since Memphis Depay departed to Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais in January 2017, and hasn’t been filled by a great player for some years with Memphis, Angel di Maria, Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen all performing poorly in it.
Sanchez will likely complete his medical and sign a contract on Sunday evening, and fans of the two clubs will have to wait only days before this huge move becomes official. The Chilean will make his debut for the club on Friday night against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup.