So, it’s a done deal: Manchester United have pulled off a coup by pipping their pesky cross-town rivals to the signature of Arsenal attacker Alexis Sánchez. How on earth did it happen? Well, the Independent’s Miguel Delaney has been filling us in. There’s nothing in his piece that is massively surprising, but there are nevertheless a few interesting insights.
Apparently Sánchez’s first choice was actually City, but his desperation to get out of the Emirates was such that he wasn’t overly picky. United apparently benefited from being able to promise him as much game time as fitness permits, as well as a healthy £300,000 a week contract that matches that of Paul Pogba. United were apparently willing to stump up agents’ fees that other clubs — including Bayern Munich and Chelsea — were not, though Delaney makes clear that Sánchez’s decision was not all about the money.
Perhaps most pleasing of all, though, is the fact that a fortnight ago United genuinely didn’t believe that this was a deal that could be done. Delaney claims that “United could not believe their luck” as it became increasingly evident that Sánchez would be open to joining José Mourinho at Old Trafford, with their move “initially seen as somewhat speculative and opportunistic.” This deal, needless to say, could be huge for United: let’s hope it doesn’t take Sánchez long to find his best form. Watch out, Pep.