Manchester United are edging ever closer to the signing of Alexis Sanchez after the Arsenal forward agreed a deal that will make him the Premier League’s best-paid player on an astonishing £500,000-a-week.
All that is left for United to do now to complete the long-running saga is to agree the transfer with Arsenal.
United manager Jose Mourinho is keen to press through with his dramatic bid for Alexis Sanchez after tempting him out of what looked like a certain move to rivals City.
He is even clinging to the hope that he might get the deal done in time for Sanchez to be involved in Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
With that in mind, United were last night exploring the option of doing a straight cash deal for Sanchez, rather than a package offer that included Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the opposite direction.
Whatever the case, it now appears that terms are sealed between Sanchez and United – although Arsenal may refuse to sanction the transfer if they cannot line up Mkhitaryan or another replacement.
He has reportedly asked for a four-and-a-half year deal which works out at £269,000 after tax.
It is believed those figures include the signing on fee that is standard in transfers of this scale.
United also have to stump up a transfer fee of £35 million – possibly including Mkhitaryan as part of that package – and there will also be agent’s fees totalling a further £10m.
Mourinho has maintained that still represents good value for the player, even though he would be available for free when his Arsenal contract runs out this summer.
It promises to be a busy few days for Woodward and Manchester United who will turn their attention to securing the manager to a longer-term deal but only once Sanchez is secured.
It is understood that Mourinho and his club remain relaxed about the contract extension, with 18 months remaining on his current deal.
But the formalities are all but agreed and the deal will only be completed when the Sanchez business is done and dusted.