Manchester United’s negotiations to sell Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan have been thrown into chaos as the Italian side’s coach Antonio Conte could be poised to leave the club.
Sanchez has been on a season-long loan with the Nerazzurri, who want to keep him for their Europa League challenge which resumes on Wednesday.
However, the loan deal expires on the same day, with United rightly not wishing to strengthen the squad of a rival for the same trophy. The Red Devils have told Inter that if they want Sanchez to stay, they will have to buy him.
Reports have claimed that Inter have registered Sanchez with UEFA for the Europa League resumption despite the fact that he is due to return to Old Trafford and that the clubs remaining some way apart in their valuations.
Sanchez’s salary is also a major stumbling block. It is worth over £500,000 per week with bonuses and United are currently paying 60% on the loan, with Inter stumping up the other 40%. For a permanent deal to happen, the Chilean would therefore have to take a huge pay cut or United would have to buy him out of his contract.
With all this going on and the Europa League deadline imminent, negotiations are at a delicate stage so Conte’s outburst against the Italian side’s owners could not have come at a worse time.
The 51-year-old lashed out in an interview after Saturday’s win at Atalanta, in which former United captain Ashley Young got a goal and assist, saying that Inter were a ‘weak club’ that offered ‘poor protection for me and the team’ before adding ‘at the end of the year I will make my assessments.’
The Italian press expect Chinese billionaire owner Zhang Jindong to react badly to the outburst.
‘Either something changes sensationally and the tensions subside or Inter will have to think of another coach, with Allegri’s silhouette always in the background and in pole position’, notes Sky Sport Italia.
Another significant development in the last 24 hours is that Barcelona president Sep Bartomeu has categorically ruled out signing Inter’s Lautaro Martinez this summer due to financial constraints. The move had been widely expected and Sanchez’s signing would in part have filled the gap left by the Argentinian.
With all this going on, it now seems very unlikely that a deal will be struck to sell Sanchez to Inter and in all likelihood, he will return to Old Trafford on Wednesday, registered to play for one club while sitting in the stands of another.
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