Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan Transfer to Manchester United, Arsenal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United and Arsenal agreed a swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, ending one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent Premier League memory.

The two clubs announced an agreement was struck for Sanchez and Mkhitaryan, bringing an end to the Chile international's three-and-a-half-year stay at the Emirates Stadium:

In a statement on the Manchester United website, Sanchez said:

"I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. 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."

Sanchez was linked with a move from north London throughout last summer's transfer window and would have been able to leave on a free transfer at the end of this season.

BBC Sport's Simon Stone reported last Monday that United were favourites to sign Sanchez ahead of City after the Red Devils suggested they would meet Arsenal's ÂŁ35 million valuation and the Citizens refused to move as high in their offer.

Arsenal took a big risk in agreeing to sell one of their biggest talents to a rival, but Mkhitaryan has shown the ability to be the type of player who could slot into the Arsenal attack and provide extra creativity alongside Mesut Ozil.

The 2016-17 campaign was Sanchez's most prolific in front of goal. The attacker converted 30 times for the Gunners across all competitions, including a career-best 24 goals in 38 Premier League appearances. Sanchez's tally eclipsed his previous-best haul in the English top flight by eight goals, although his chances of besting that number this term are slim.

He takes his leave of north London having won two FA Cups during his time at the Emirates, and he'll look to enjoy even more silverware success after agreeing to join Mourinho at United.

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