MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jan 22- Manchester United have officially announced the mega-money signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, with the Chilean joining on a deal worth Sh86mn (£600,000) a week.
The forward had a busy Monday morning, having visited the United training ground and Old Trafford — where he bumped into club legend Sir Alex Ferguson — before being spotted at an immigration office in Liverpool for approval on his work permit.
“I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world,” said 29-year-old Chile international forward Sanchez.
“I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans.
“The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down.
“I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United’s first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was seen arriving at the same UK Visas and Immigration centre, at The Capital Building on Union Street in Liverpool, minutes after Sanchez, with the pair both waiting to have their documents approved by the Home Office.
This is the highest basic wage of any player in the Premier League.
Sanchez, who has chosen United over their arch rivals Manchester City, was earlier seen arriving at Carrington at 8am on Monday before departing the club’s training base later that morning.
The former Barcelona star also visited Old Trafford where it is understood he was greeted by United legend Ferguson, who was pictured speaking to people sitting inside the 29-year-old’s taxi.
He was later seen leaving the Lowry Hotel, where he is staying, before leaving Manchester for Liverpool, where he travelled to have his work permit approved.
On Sunday night, Sanchez was pictured taking a selfie in a United shirt with his name and No 7 on the back.
Mkhitaryan has now gone the other way in a swap deal while United will also pay a £20million transfer fee to Arsenal and £15m to Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich.
The Armenia international also had his medical at Arsenal, who are also busy trying to seal a deal for Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He will join up with his new United colleagues on Tuesday when they begin preparations for Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Yeovil Town, following two days off after the weekend win over Burnley.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of Sanchez’s move: ‘January has been difficult for us, destabilising. It is the first time this has happened to us in January.
‘We have had big players concerned with moving away which causes uncertainty in the dressing room. I was tempted to include Sanchez against Palace, yes, but I didn’t take him because there is a question of him moving to United.
‘You can’t drive north and play football. I expect it to happen but I can’t announce it. Until it’s over the line you can’t say it will happen.’
Chile international Sanchez wanted to leave Arsenal for Manchester City last summer. It didn’t happen then but with only six months left on his contract, Wenger decided a trade deal with Mkhitaryan was preferable to losing him for nothing in the summer.
Sportsmail revealed Mkhitaryan had said an emotional goodbye after his final United training session on Friday. ‘It was very tearful,’ said a source. ‘Henrikh has been a very popular figure here at United.
‘We know he isn’t too happy with the way this deal has been forced upon him. He realises he has more chance of playing at Arsenal, but he would have preferred to leave on his own terms.’
-By Daily Mail