Alexis Sanchez will finally become a Manchester United player after Henrikh Mkhitaryan agreed to join Arsenal in a swap deal.
Mkhitaryan said a tearful farewell to his team-mates and club staff on Friday lunchtime as the final obstacle to United signing Sanchez was removed.
The Armenian’s switch has been holding up negotiations after his agent Mino Raiola warned that he could scupper the Sanchez deal.
But an hour after Jose Mourinho confirmed Mkhitaryan would be left out of United’s squad to face Burnley, MailOnline revealed that the player had said an emotional goodbye after his final United training session. ‘It was very tearful,’ said a source. ‘Henrikh has been a very popular figure here at United.
‘We know he isn’t too happy with the way this deal has been forced upon him.
‘He realises he has more chance of playing at Arsenal, but he would have preferred to leave on his own terms.’
Just when the Sanchez saga finally seemed to be hurtling towards a conclusion, there was a further twist on Friday night as Sportsmail learned Arsene Wenger was giving serious consideration to including the forward in his match-day squad to face Crystal Palace. Wenger was mulling over naming Sanchez on the bench, and will make a decision this morning.
The Frenchman axed Sanchez from the Arsenal squad to face Bournemouth last Sunday because of his pending move.
United will pay £35million for Sanchez — a £20m transfer fee to Arsenal and £15m to the player’s agent Fernando Felicevich. Sanchez will earn £350,000 a week plus an extra £100,000 a week for image rights over the course of a four-and-a-half-year contract. He will also receive £7.5m a year for four years as a signing-on fee.
Part of the reason Arsenal have agreed to sell the 29-year-old to United is because they wanted Mkhitaryan, who was linked with the Gunners before he joined United for £26m from Borussia Dortmund 18 months ago.