United Kingdom - Alexis Sanchez said on Monday he was "thrilled to be joining the biggest
club in the world" as he moved to Manchester United from Arsenal in a
swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The 29-year-old Chile striker,
who came close to joining Manchester City last summer, has signed what
is believed to be a four-and-a-half-year contract that will make him the
highest-paid player in the Premier League.
It has been widely reported that Sanchez will earn a pre-tax salary of £500 000 a week.
international winger Mkhitaryan, also 29, will head to the Emirates
after he fell out of favour with United manager Jose Mourinho during 18
months at Old Trafford.
Sanchez joined Arsenal for £31.7 million in
2014 after three years at Barcelona but his relationship with the
Gunners soured after he tried to orchestrate a move to City last year.
In an Instagram post, he took a parting shot at ex-Arsenal players who have criticised his attitude.
are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of
what happens inside the club and cause damage," Sanchez wrote.
must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the
Mister (Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger) to be in the team, because I
wanted to be a contribution."
Last week, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown called Sanchez "football's biggest mercenary".
a statement issued by United, Sanchez said he had spent
"three-and-a-half wonderful years" at Arsenal "and I bring with me very
positive memories of that great club and its fans".
Old Trafford, he said: "The chance to play in this historic stadium and
to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down.
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."
will be hoping their substantial investment helps close the gap on
their Emirati-backed cross-city rivals Manchester City, who are
streaking away with the Premier League title this season.
will partner Romelu Lukaku in the United forward line, with England
strikers Marcus Rashford, 20, and the in-form Jesse Lingard, 25, forced
to fight for their places.
Mourinho 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."
Sanchez spent three
years at Barcelona, winning La Liga in 2013. At Arsenal he twice lifted
the FA Cup, but did not come close to a Premier League title and his
frustration has been evident this season amid reports of rows with
He has played 119 times for Chile and helped his nation
win back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, although they
failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia.
His move to
United was celebrated in his homeland, where fans on social media
lauded the Red Devils' "winning" mentality, in contrast to the paucity
of recent success at Arsenal.
"The golden destiny of Alexis," said daily newspaper La Tercera.
Mkhitaryan joined United for around £30 million in 2016 after three years at Borussia Dortmund.
highlight of his stay in Manchester was scoring in the Europa League
final victory over Ajax last season and he also helped United win the
"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," added Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan told the Arsenal website he had "always dreamed of playing for Arsenal".
"Now that I'm here, I'll do my best for this club to create history," he said.
Arsenal boss Wenger said he was happy to acquire Mkhitaryan in the deal.
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."
Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal is the latest move of a January transfer window
during which Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for €160
million and signed central defender Virgil Van Dijk from
Southampton for £75 million.
Reports in Germany say striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be on his way to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund.