Alexis Sanchez will look to get his career back up and running in Italy after Manchester United finally agreed a deal to loan him to Inter Milan for the rest of the season.
The Chilean – who has not been involved in either of United’s opening three Premier League matches – has been heavily linked with a move to the Serie A in recent weeks, with talks over the deal stalling a few times before eventually, late on Monday night, it was announced that an agreement had been reached.
Multiple sources claim United have agreed a 10-month loan deal which does not include an option to buy, with the Premier League club retaining control of the 30-year-old who still has almost three years left on his contract.
That will mean Sanchez will return to Old Trafford next summer, with the club hoping the loan spell in Italy helps the Chilean rediscovers the talents that made him British football’s highest-paid footballer.
And it was those £500,000 a week wages which proved most troublesome in the negotiations, with the two clubs eventually settling on a deal which will suit them both.
According to The Guardian, as well as Sky Italy, Inter will pay just €5million (£4.5m) of his €12million (£10.8m) wages, meaning United will have to pay the remaining €7million (£6.3m).
It astonishingly means United will pay the player around £146,000 a week to depart Old Trafford – similar to what reports suggested last week.
Sanchez joined United from Arsenal in January 2018 in a deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go in the opposite direction, but his spell at Old Trafford has been a major disappointment.
The Chile international, who managed almost a goal every other game during his three and a half years with the Gunners, has managed just five strikes in 45 appearances for United.
Those performances were in stark contrast to his status as United’s highest-paid player, an issue which grew into a major headache for the club as they sought to negotiate contract extensions with a number of other members of their first-team squad.
That left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to see Sanchez move on this summer, despite a lack of experienced cover in the squad, and even after the United boss gave him some hope of salvaging his career at the club.
With Romelu Lukaku having also joined Inter Milan on a permanent deal and no replacement brought in, United have only Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and teenagers Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong in their senior squad.
Sanchez will hope to have more luck in Serie A, where he starred for Udinese earlier in his career before earning a move to Barcelona.
Further departures from United could yet follow before the European transfer window closes, with Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo among the fringe players to have been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
Though United opened the season with a hugely encouraging 4-0 win over Chelsea, they were then held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves before Saturday’s disappointing home reverse to Crystal Palace, who had not previously won at Old Trafford in the Premier League era.
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