Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan apply for work permits ahead of Man Utd and Arsenal moves
By Danny Gallagher
Last Updated: 22/01/18 6:04pm
Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are finalising work permits ahead of their respective transfers to Manchester United and Arsenal, with no complications expected.
Both players are expected to switch clubs in a straight swap deal imminently, with medicals having taken place.
Sanchez and Mkhitaryan arrived separately at the immigration office in Liverpool on Monday to go through the procedure of tying up the formalities.
Sanchez arrived to work in the UK in 2014 after moving to Arsenal from Barcelona, so therefore must apply for an extension to his existing permit.
Mkhitaryan likewise will apply to extend his permit, in line with his new contract at Arsenal.
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Both players satisfy the necessary criteria, and Home Office rules allow for an extension of at least another three years to a UK Tier 2 [Sportsperson] visa.
The players are required to apply for their visas in person, with each application requiring a valid certificate of sponsorship from their new respective club, along with the endorsement of the Football Association.
The Home Office will not discuss individual cases but Sky Sports News understands neither player will have to leave the UK in order to meet any extension requirements.
With Mkhitaryan representing and captaining Armenia - ranked 90th in the world by FIFA - specific criteria is required in order for a permit extension to be granted.
Necessary factors include the elite status of the league, the value of the transfer and the value of the agreed weekly wages.
European and domestic appearances are also taken into account, all of which Mkhitaryan is expected to fulfil and extend his existing permit.
The playmaker has played 15 times in the Premier League this season for United, coming up with one goal in the process.
Mkhitaryan has also featured four times in the Champions League, again scoring one goal.
Both United and Arsenal are expected to get clearance for their new players straight away, though could announce the signings beforehand 'subject to obtaining a work permit'.
Mkhitaryan would be cup-tied for Arsenal's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea on Wednesday, though Sanchez would be available to feature in United's FA Cup fourth-round fixture with Yeovil on Friday, provided the deal is completed and he is registered as a United player before 12pm on Friday.
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