Wenger puts time frame on Alexis Sanchez, Mkhitaryan deals

James Marshment

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan is close to joining Arsenal and believes the deal – as well as Alexis Sanchez’s transfer to Man Utd – will go through in the next 24 hours.

Arsenal demanded the Armenian after sanctioning the £35million sale of Sanchez to Old Trafford and when asked if Mkhitaryan would be coming to Arsenal as part of the deal, Wenger said: “Yes that is my understanding. I like the player.”

Asked whether wages be an obstacle with Mkhitaryan, he added: “No, the wages will not be a problem.”

He said: “We played many times against him when he was at Dortmund. He certainly appreciated the quality of our game and the way we play football. That’s why certainly he loves the club as well.

“Look, this would be an exchange of players, and I think one would replace the other. Are we still on the transfer market after that? Yes.”

Wenger continued: “I’ve worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen but at any moment things can break down,” Wenger said.

“That’s how the transfer market is, so as long as it’s not over the line you have to accept that it can as well not happen. These kinds of things are never guaranteed.”

The update comes after a day of talks between the players and their respective new clubs.

On Wednesday it was reported that Sanchez had agreed personal terms on a four-and-a-half-year deal at Old Trafford that would see him earn £14million a year – around £270,000 a week after tax – making him the Premier League’s highest-paid player.

However, a report in the Daily Star on Thursday claimed Sanchez’s request for a £20million signing-on fee was holding up negotiations, though it is believed that the two parties will soon find a workaround and the paperwork will be finalised on the stunning deal.


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