Alexis Sanchez Reveals Retirement Plans to Fulfil Late Father's 'Dream'

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2018

Manchester United's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez leaves the pitch after losing a last 16 second leg UEFA Champions League football match between Manchester United and Sevilla at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England on March 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United attacker Alexis Sanchez only arrived at Old Trafford in January, but he's already planning for life after the Red Devils and has said he hopes to fulfil his late father's wish with a return to his native Chile. 

Sanchez spoke to a Chilean broadcaster after Tuesday's UEFA Champions League defeat by Sevilla, cited by the Mirror's Gerard Couzens, and detailed his family's wish to see him don the colours of Universidad de Chile:

"I think it would be my family's dream.

"My father who is now in Heaven was a supporter of La U and I think the truth is that a lot of my family would like me to end up there.

"My dad was the pillar of the family and sometimes people do things for their family as well.

"I played for Colo Colo and the truth is that it was great and I won a lot of things with them, but I think people are going to understand it because its a dream my dad had and God willing I am going to fulfil it."

Sanchez spent a season on loan at Colo Colo immediately after he moved to Europe and joined Serie A outfit Udinese in 2006, but he's eager to spend time at rivals Universidad despite that previous spell in Santiago.

Universidad, the Chilean capital's other big name from Chile's Primera Division, made no attempts to cover their courting of Sanchez following his comments:

Sanchez explained it was adoptive dad Jose Delaigue whose dream he referred to, rather than birth father Guillermo Soto, per Couzens' report.

It's unlikely any sort of Old Trafford departure will materialise this year, although former Premier League defender Kenny Cunningham told Off The Ball Sanchez's below-par displays for United could lead to an early exit:

The 29-year-old has struggled to kick on at the Theatre of Dreams after swapping places with Henrikh Mkhitaryan—now at Arsenal—in January.

Ex-Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand bemoaned Sanchez's most recent performance in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Sevilla during an appearance on BT Sport, the latest indicator he's struggling to fit in at United:

Needless to say the forward's salary of £350,000 per week plus bonuses might pose an issue for La U if they hoped to recruit Sanchez. It's more likely he'll pursue the move deeper into his 30s toward the end of his career.

Before then, he'll hope to win the major silverware he presumably felt he couldn't at Arsenal, but his start to life at United indicates that could be a struggle at Old Trafford also.

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