The future of Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez remains unclear following a number of developments over the past few days.
After a disappointing start to his Manchester United career that was fraught with poor form, injuries and rumours of dressing room unrest, the Chilean is currently on loan with Italian giants Inter Milan who are reportedly paying £100,000 of his £350,000 per week wages.
The loan is expected to be extended to the end of the season but what happens after that remains shrouded in doubt.
On Friday The Mirror claimed that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been in talks with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to resolve Sanchez’s future. The outlet suggests that Solskjaer would like Woodward simply to pay up the rest of the player’s contract so he can leave the club, rather than risk re-introducing a disruptive element to the dressing room.
Woodward, on the other hand, is ‘less than keen’ to pen that £36 million cheque when there is a chance the player could come good.
Solskjaer’s words this week about Sanchez were confusing. On the one hand he seemed to throw down the gauntlet to the player, saying:
‘Of course there’s a place for good players and good people in this environment.
‘Let’s see where we get to after the season, because we do feel this squad is exciting. We do feel we’re on the way to something.
‘Chris Smalling, Sanchez and Dean Henderson of course have been out, and done themselves favours.
‘We have to decide when this season has finished, what the next one will look like.’
However, there was a sting in the tail in which the Norwegian hinted he would not want Sanchez back at Old Trafford no matter how well he finished the season at Inter.
‘It’s about gelling this group together,’ he said.
‘Sometimes when you decorate your living room it might be a nice chair or nice sofa but it maybe doesn’t go with the rest of it.’
The 31-year-old returned to action on Saturday, appearing as a substitute for the highly sought-after Lautaro Martinez in Inter’s Coppa Italia semi-final tie with Napoli.
The Nerazzurri drew the game but lost on aggregate, but the Italian press were full of praise for Sanchez’s 20 minute contribution.
‘Twenty minutes to try and write a different finale to the season and perhaps still carve a future in Nerazzurri colours,’ mused calciomercato.com.
‘Alexis Sanchez has reappeared on planet Inter, three months after the forced stop imposed by the coronavirus.
‘The left ankle peroneal tendon injury last autumn is a distant memory and the remnant of the match given to him by Conte in Naples could be springboard that could also change the lineup in the attack department for the last portion of this season.
‘In less than 20 minutes Sanchez made Gattuso’s team tremble, going close to the side and providing an assist with the heel not capitalized upon by Eriksen, for what could have been the goal that put them through to the Coppa Italia final.
‘There are 14 games still to be played for Inter, a chance that Alexis Sanchez has every intention of exploiting in his favour, while also waiting for a signal from Manchester United, owners of his contract.’
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