Wenger Admits Sanchez-Mkhitaryan Swap Deal Is Close
The agent of Manchester United winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reported to have travelled to London to finalise his move to Arsenal.
Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio claims Mino Raiola has travelled to the English capital in what seems to herald an agreement from Mkhitaryan to move to London.
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez will move to Old Trafford in what appears to be a straight swap. Sanchez was valued at £30million by the Gunners with his agent receiving a fee worth £5million.
The deal was confirmed today by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Speaking at a press conference this morning Wenger claimed the transfer was close and he confirmed that Mkhitaryan was part of the deal.
“My understanding is yes and that wages will not be a problem,” he said in a reference to reports that the Armenia international will want an increase on the £150million a week he earns at Manchester United.
“We played many times against him when he was at Dortmund so he’s certainly appreciated the quality of our games and the way we play football so that’s why certainly he loves the club.
“This would be an exchange of players and I think one would replace the other. Are we still on the transfer market after that? Yes.
“I’ve worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen but any moment things can break down,” he added.
“That’s how the transfer market is so as long as it’s not over the line you have to accept that it can as well not happen. These kinds of things are never guaranteed.”
As to who has done better out of the deal in financial terms then there is a strong claim for Arsenal. Sanchez moved to the Emirates in the summer of 2014 for a fee of £31.7million. With just six months left on his current deal it means he has a value in Arsenal’s books of just under £4million. Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal in the summer of 2016 for a fee estimated to be between £27million and £30million. With two-and-a-half years left on his contract he is worth between £17million and £19million.
But Sanchez’s importance to Arsenal cannot be overestimated while Mkhitatyan has fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United. He was criticised by Jose Mourinho for his performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the beginning of November and has been used only sparingly since then.