Manchester United to hand Arsenal star No 7 shirt with deal ‘75% done’

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Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to Manchester United was 75 per cent completed as of Monday night despite late interest from Chelsea as Manchester City pulled out of the race for the Arsenal forward once and for all.

United are willing to pay the £35m asking price but Arsenal now want £30m plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan – and that’s where the clubs are differing on the deal. The Armenian would prefer a move back to Borussia Dortmund and the wages on offer at the Emirates are some way off his demands. Mkhitaryan was left out of United’s squad on Monday with Mourinho admitting he didn’t select him because of the speculation around his future.

Arsenal wanted Anthony Martial as part of the deal but it was rejected out of hand. United are willing to pay Sanchez the £400,000-a-week his is asking for in a deal which would cost the club £100m in total for the 29-year-old who has six months remaining on his contract. This is £60,000-a-week more than what Manchester City were offering, although Pep Guardiola’s side were only willing to pay £20m and backed out of the deal once they realised how much it would cost them in total.

Chelsea made a late swoop on Monday night as the club contacted the Chilean’s representatives to ask about his demands and are willing to capitalise on and breakdown between the three parties. They are hoping the lure of remaining in London will be enough to persuade Sanchez.

Mourinho said he would like the transfer window closed on Tuesday, suggesting the deal could be done as early as today, although there is a chance it could drag on until later in the week. Sanchez will take the vacant No 7 shirt at Old Trafford when he joins as Mourinho looks to find a system to fit him in without disrupting the progress of the likes of Martial and Marcus Rashford.

Speaking on the transfer following the 3-0 win over Stoke, Mourinho said: “Not confident but also not, what is the opposite? Unconfident. Just relaxed.

“We have a feeling he is an Arsenal player, he can stay there, but also a feeling he can move and if he moves I think we have a chance but most probably a player like him has other big clubs interested and who knows? “I think him, Mr Wenger, Mr Gazidis, they are the ones who know what is going to happen. I don’t know anything about it and I don’t have one single information, so let’s see what happens.”

Arsene Wenger always said he would not let Sanchez leave until there was a replacement lined up. That is what collapsed the deal with City on deadline day last year as Thomas Lemar rejected a move to north London but it is not the case this time as Malcom is expected to join from Bordeaux, while Mkhitaryan may also arrive and the Gunners are even confident of getting a deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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