Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Discusses Alexis Sanchez's Future Amid Inter Milan Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:   Manchester United Head Coach / Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer consoles Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United at the end of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez could still leave Manchester United before the summer transfer window closes in Europe, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Β 

The United boss discussed the future of Sanchez, who has been heavily linked with Inter Milan, after watching the Red Devils draw 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Monday night:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

Asked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about Alexis Sanchez's #MUFC future amid Inter talk: "Well, there's still a couple of weeks left of the transfer window and there is a chance... some clubs have shown interest in Alexis, so we'll see what happens. Can't update you more than that"

Those words could offer encouragement to Inter, who have until September 2, when the transfer window closes on the continent to secure the signing of Sanchez. The Nerazzurri "are understood to be putting together a deal to present to United on Tuesday or Wednesday," per BBC Sport's Simon Stone.

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Alexis Sanchez not even on the bench against Wolves. His transfer to Inter Milan is getting closer, last details and it’ll be done; expected to be finalized on next hours. Loan + buy option. πŸ”΄ #MUFC #Inter #transfers

He also noted how "United are aware of Inter's interest and are understood to be open-minded about doing a deal, if terms are acceptable."

Those terms are likely to involve paying a portion of Sanchez's wages, with the Chilean earning at least Β£400,000 per week.

Bringing Sanchez's career at Old Trafford to at least a temporary halt would be ideal for Solskjaer. The latter is trying to build a younger, hungry squad capable of playing with energy and consistency.

Sanchez has shown precious little of either since arriving from Arsenal on a free transfer in the winter of 2018. While he a was prolific scorer and supplier of goals for the Gunners, Sanchez has struggled to stay fit and become a fixture in United's best starting XI, either under SolskjaerΒ or on the watch of the Norwegian's predecessor Jose Mourinho.

Solskajer has put faith in younger athletes up top so far this season. Marcus Rashford, 21, has been leading the line along with Anthony Martial, while Solskjaer has been talking up the potential of 17-year-old Mason Greenwood.

Goal @goal

Solskjaer on who is the best natural finisher between Rashford, Martial and Greenwood: πŸ—£: "Natural finisher? Well, they've still got a way to go, because Mason's more of a natural finisher than those two.” 🎯 https://t.co/SsklF0adbh

Sanchez reportedly engaged in a heated verbal exchange with Greenwood during a recent training session, per Mike McGrath of The Sun. Injuring his hamstring while playing for Chile at this summer's Copa America has left Sanchez facing an uphill battle to be match-ready for United.

The chance to prove his fitness may not come for Sanchez if he is the latest high-profile Red Devils flop to be dispatched to Serie A. United have already sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter, and the striker has been messaging Sanchez regularly about the merits of following him to Milan, according to MailOnline's Alvise Cagnazzo.

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Alexis Sanchez: Mins per goal contribution for Chile at the #CopaAmerica -- 5⃣9⃣ Mins per goal contribution for Manchester United in the Premier League last season -- 2⃣1⃣9⃣.3⃣ For more player stats -- https://t.co/ojSfRKiTBQ https://t.co/AHBQeqXAX3

A Sanchez and Lukaku double act at Inter would likely suit Antonio Conte. The ex-Chelsea chief won the Premier League title with the Blues in 2017 relying on a prolific combination between a powerhouse centre-forward and a versatile winger who could also thrive through the middle.

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were the match-winners for Conte's Chelsea, and a Sanchez and Lukaku partnership might help Inter close the gap on Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus.

A lot would depend on Conte's ability to help Sanchez rediscover his pre-United form. Returning to familiar scenery could help, with Sanchez having previously risen to prominence during a successful stint in Italy with Udinese from 2008 to 2011.

Ironing out the details of a deal with Inter is what's best for both United and Sanchez. The club is ready to trust new stars who need to time to thrive, while the player desperately needs the right opportunity to revive his flagging career.