Sanchez scored five goals in 45 games for Man Utd; Chilean's exit frees up No 7 shirt
Thursday 6 August 2020 16:53, UK
Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has left the club on a free transfer to join Inter Milan on a three-year deal.
Sanchez, who has been on loan at Inter since August 2019, will receive a small pay-off from United after agreeing to waive the final two years of his £560k-per-week contract.
Sanchez's departure brings to an end his disappointing two-and-a-half year spell at Old Trafford. After arriving in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Arsenal, he went on to score just five goals in 45 games for United.
The Chilean's free transfer to Inter has saved United somewhere in the region of £40m in wages over the remaining two years of his contract.
It is understood Sanchez has received between £5m and £7m following his departure from Old Trafford, although those close to the deal on the United side are describing it as a "small pay-off".
Sanchez would have earned £40m over the next two years if he had stayed, but is now set to earn around £28m over the next three years in Milan.
By not paying a fee for Sanchez, Inter have put most of the cash they would have given to United into his wages, in order to come up with a deal attractive enough to sign him.
After confirming Sanchez's exit, a United statement read: "Everyone at Manchester United wishes Alexis Sanchez all the best in his future career as he joins Inter Milan on a permanent transfer."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed Sanchez's move following United's win over LASK in the Europa League on Thursday, saying: "They've liked him, so of course that's a good move for him.
"Wish him all the best. He's a top player that we want to see play his best football. For whatever reason we didn't see the best of Alexis, but he's a top professional and we just wish him all the best."
Sanchez started life at Inter slowly, in part due to injury, but he was one of their most impressive performers after the restart, scoring three goals and assisting seven more as Inter secured second place in Serie A.
Sanchez's move to Inter means United's iconic No 7 shirt is once again available.
Incidentally, that is also the number worn by Jadon Sancho, who United are keen to sign from Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Speaking in August 2019 upon his move to Inter Milan, Sky Sports' Gary Neville was brutal in his assessment of the Chilean's time at Old Trafford...
"I thought he would be a forward who would play all across the line, who scored goals and was tenacious, but Sanchez has been an absolute disaster. I have no idea what's happened to him. There must be two of them. No one could have foreseen the disaster that was about to happen with Alexis Sanchez.
"I don't know what happened to him. That wasn't the Alexis Sanchez that played at Arsenal. He wasn't old when United signed him. He'd been proven. We knew United would get only a couple of years out of him, I know his wages were massive.
"But my point is, no one could have foreseen how bad he would be for the club."
Sky Sports' Adam Bate:
'This was no slow decline. Sanchez had been named Arsenal's player of the year just eight months prior to joining United but proceeded to struggle from the outset. Burnout was offered as an explanation but after his first summer off in years his form deserted him entirely.
'How did one of the Premier League's most exciting players become its biggest bust?'
Manchester United are still hoping to secure a deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho - but are determined not to be bullied into a fee.
Dortmund have not moved from their €120m (£108m) valuation of the England international, but seem to be open to accepting less money up front.
German football expert Raphael Honigstein told the latest Transfer Talk podcast: "There's absolutely no doubt he would be a huge improvement on what they have, especially if you think of the traditional importance of width in the United team. Wingers that would get the crowd excited and those who take on players, whip in crosses and score themselves - all these things Sancho will do.
"The stats for a 20-year-old are unbelievable in terms of the goals he's scored and assisted last season in a pretty talented Dortmund team. The flip-side to this conversation is that Dortmund want to make a very careful calculation which is similar to the one Leverkusen are making for Havertz.
"Manchester United are still saying they are just in talks. It's a bit murky where both sides will try to get the best possible deal. There's a lot of poker and double-bluffing going on but it's now down to United to say 'here's the money'."
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