Monday, 22 January 2018

Done Deals! Sanchez Joins Man United As Mkhitaryan Seals Arsenal Move

It had been coming, but now the deal is sealed!
Alexis Sánchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have officially swapped clubs.

That's what both Manchester United and Arsenal confirmed on their social media accounts.

 After days of negotiating both teams have reached an agreement and the Chilean and Armenian will take in each other's places.

Chile forward Sanchez, 29, who almost joined Manchester City last summer, has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal worth £14m (N6.8bn) a year after tax.

The Chile star, who will earn a basic weekly wage of £350,000 (N148m)-a-week at United, said:
"I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans. 

"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."
City ended their interest last week as they felt making him their best-paid player may affect team spirit.

Mourinho welcomed his new signing, who will wear the iconic No 7 shirt at United. He 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 and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.
 "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."
Sanchez also made a veiled criticism of a series of ex-Arsenal players in a statement on Instagram:
"There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage.

"I must say I always gave 100 per cent, until the last day, when I asked (the manager) to be in the team, because I wanted to (make) a contribution. I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also took time out to praise Sanchez's professionalism. 
"He's a very professional player who has been committed until the last minute," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

"In training, he was practising with full power, so I never questioned that. I never had any doubts about that. 

'"He's a world-class player who has contributed well to us and was a star here. I would like to thank him for his contribution here and I wish him well.  
Sanchez once again flashes his new No 7 shirt — once worn by the likes of David Beckham
United's newest player putting pen to paper on his contract with the Old Trafford side
"He's very attached to Arsenal and we were very attached to him as well, so it is not with pleasure that we lose him but it's part of professional life."
Mkhitaryan, 29, moves in the opposite direction to Sanchez after scoring 13 goals in 63 appearances for United.

The Armenia international moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3m (N13bn) in July 2016.

He has made only 10 English Premier League starts this season, and it is understood there was a breakdown in trust between him and Mourinho.

"I'm very happy that we could finish this deal and I'm very happy to be here," Mkhitaryan told the Arsenal club's website following the announcement. 
"It's a dream come true because I've always dreamed of playing for Arsenal. Now that I'm here, I'll do my best for this club to create history.

''I always loved the way that Arsenal played and the way that Arsene Wenger has managed the team. There have been a lot of young players, he's managed them and they've done very well. 
The former Dortmund star has won the Armenian Footballer of the Year award eight times 

"Of course I was in love with the game of Thierry Henry. I loved the way he played - and maybe that was the reason to support Arsenal.''
Manager Arsene Wenger was quick to praise his new signing, calling the 29-year-old 'a very complete player'.
 Wenger said: "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."

United boss Jose Mourinho also had some parting words for the Armenia international.
"I would like to wish Henrikh all the success and happiness that I am sure he is going to get," he told the Manchester United official website.
"He is a player that we will not forget, especially for his contribution to our Europa League victory."   
Mkhitaryan shows off his skills after pulling on an Arsenal strip for the first time 

Mkhitaryan played a big role in their UEFA Europa League campaign last season.

He is the captain of the Armenian national team and is their all-time top scorer, receiving the Armenian Footballer of the Year award eight times.

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