MANCHESTER United have confirmed the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in a monster transfer package that exceeds AU$250 million.
Sanchez has been handed the iconic No.7 jersey for one of world football’s biggest clubs, where he will now act as a lynchpin of Jose Mourinho’s attack, having earlier looked certain to sign for rivals Manchester City.
The incredible sums of Sanchez’s move have been confirmed, with the player set to earn £450,000-a-week before tax to make him United’s highest ever earner.
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That equates to £105.3m ($183m) over the course of his four-and-a-half year deal.
Sanchez’s arrival also comes with a £10m sign-on fee, a £15m fee for his agent, Fernando Felicevich, and a £35m transfer fee. That takes the total value of Sanchez’s move to £165.3m ($287m), although the cost is off-set by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move from United to Arsenal in a £35m deal.
“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world,” said Sanchez, a former Barcelona player who had an opportunity to join United’s neighbor and fierce Premier League rival, Manchester City.
“The chance to play in this historic stadium (Old Trafford) and to work with (United manager) Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down.”
Mourinho lauded his new signing.
“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 said.
“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.”
Mkhitaryan said it was a “dream” to move to Arsenal.
“I’m very happy that we could finish this deal and I’m very happy to be here,” said Mkhitaryan.
“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.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger added: “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.”
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