Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is likely to join English Premier League rivals Manchester United this month, his manager Arsene Wenger said ahead of tomorrow’s match against Crystal Palace.
The Chile international is out of contract at the end of the season and was also a target for runaway league leaders Manchester City, but United appear to have stolen a march on their local rivals.
“I worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen, but at any moment it can break down… If it doesn’t happen, he will play on Saturday,” Wenger told a press conference, adding that United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan could move in the other direction.
“I like the player. We played many times against him when he was at (Borussia) Dortmund. He appreciated the quality of our games…
“The wages would not be a problem. This would be an exchange of players and I think one would replace the other.”
United want to sign Sanchez in time for him to make his debut against Burnley tomorrow in a deal in which the attacker would earn up to £450,000 (S$824,000) a week. That would make the 29-year-old the highest earner in the Premier League, surpassing United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is on £300,000 a week.
Arsenal want to sign two attacking players this month to reduce the impact of losing Sanchez, with Wenger revealing yesterday that he would still be in the market for more recruits.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also been linked with Arsenal and reports in Germany say that his father has travelled to London to try to complete a deal for the Dortmund forward.
Arsenal sold England international Theo Walcott to rivals Everton on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old has vowed to revive his fortunes under Sam Allardyce after the completion of his £20 million move, saying that his career had stalled with Arsenal.
“It felt like it was time for me to move on,” said Walcott, who signed a 31/2-year contract, which is likely to exceed the £110,000 a week plus bonuses that he earned at the Emirates Stadium.
“I feel like the players have got a point to prove, I have got a point to prove and it is going to get the best out of us, I am sure.”