Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Waiting to exhale - Manchester United yet to secure Sanchez

Published:Saturday | January 20, 2018 | 12:10 AM
Sanchez

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Jose Mourinho appeared to be in the dark about the progress of Manchester United's attempt to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in a potential swap for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola seemed to know more.

"I think he is going to go to United," Guardiola said about Sanchez, "so congratulations for both of them."

The transfer that has been the talk of English football this month still wasn't completed yesterday, with Sanchez remaining an Arsenal player heading into the latest round of Premier League matches this weekend.

United and Arsenal are in negotiations over a swap deal involving Sanchez and Mkhitaryan, with Mourinho saying he wasn't sure what was behind the hold-up.

"When it goes to the table of negotiations, I like to be out," Mourinho said. "I will just be calmly waiting for news, no more than that.

"Not done. Not done at all," Mourinho added, when asked if he had an update. "So, in this moment, Mkhitaryan is our player, Sanchez an Arsenal player."

Mkhitaryan trained with United yesterday but has been left out of the squad to play Burnley at Turf Moor. He was also omitted by United for their 3-0 win over Stoke on Monday.

The Armenia midfielder is key to the deal, with Arsenal potentially only allowing Sanchez to leave if the team gets a replacement.

Across town, at a Man City news conference held concurrently with United's, Guardiola spoke like a man who was ready to move on from the Sanchez saga.

City were close to signing Sanchez last year, but a deal fell through on the final day of the transfer window.

The Premier League leaders looked to be favourites to sign him when the transfer market reopened this month, yet ended their interest when Sanchez and his agent increased their financial demands.

"Players, when they have contenders (for their signature), decide where they want to play, even their managers (agents) decide where they want to play," Guardiola said. "They've decided that. Good luck."

STILL WORTH THE FUSS?

Age: 29

Games: 19

Goals: 7

Assists: 3

Shots PG: 3.6

Key Passes PG: 2.7

Dribbles PG: 2.1