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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez is likely to join Manchester United this month – and that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to move in the opposite direction as part of the deal.
Chile international Sanchez, aged 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and had been widely expected to join Manchester City until United launched a bid to sign him last week.
Speaking at his press conference this morning, Wenger confirmed that Old Trafford is now the former Barcelona star’s most likely destination.
He told reporters: “I have no problems with Sanchez. He trained yesterday. He is 29 years old and the next contract is very important for him.
“We did the maximum we could afford to do [with Sanchez’s contract talks].
“It is a story that is well documented. I am not to add to that.
“[The move to United] can happen, it can as well not happen – it is at that stage. If it doesn’t happen he will play on Saturday.
“I work on transfers for 30 years, it is likely to happen but at any moment things can break down. As long as it’s not over the line you can accept it might not happen.
“I left him out of Bournemouth because the transfer was quite advanced. It’s now in the next 24 or 48 hours it will happen or not.”
Wenger also indicated his confidence that Mkhitaryan, aged 28, would be joining his squad.
Amid reports that the Armenia international is seeking an increase on his salary at Old Trafford and that those negotiations are causing the delay, Wenger said Mkhitaryan’s wages would not be an issue.
Asked about whether the attacking midfielder’s signing was close, the Frenchman added: “My understanding is yes. Yes, of course [I like him]. If it’s a possibility it’s because I like the player.
“We played many times against him at Dortmund. He certainly appreciated the quality of our games and how we play football. Certainly he loves the club.
“This would be an exchange of player and one would replace the other. We are still in the market.”
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