Our long international nightmare is over. For 10 months, at least. Alexis Sánchez has left Manchester United to join Inter on loan, both clubs have confirmed. The Chilean forward leaves United (for now) after a miserable 18-month during which he failed to have any real impact.
After a somewhat protracted negotiation, Alexis joins former United teammate — and the only player he spoke to in the dressing room, apparently — Romelu Lukaku at Inter. United are reported to be covering around 40% of the player’s considerable wages during the course of the loan, and Alexis himself is said to have waived certain bonuses to push through the move:
It is understood United will pay around £6 million of Sanchez’s salary while he is at the San Siro, which accounts for around 40 percent of his wage during that period. Inter will pick up the majority of his £16 million wage, while sources in Italy have told The Athletic that Sanchez may even have waived parts of bonuses to get the move agreed.
Barring a renaissance in Serie A that leads to an unlikely second chance at United, Alexis Sánchez is likely to go down as the biggest bust in United’s transfer history. Scoring just 5 goals in 45 appearances, it is telling that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was eager to get Sánchez away from the squad, even with a very young (and now thin) attack.
Sánchez did have a decent Copa America over the summer with Chile before succumbing to injury, and perhaps a change of environment will help him recapture past form. He now has a manager in Antonio Conte who believes in him, and is back in a league where he enjoyed arguably his best ever form with Udinese. A decent season will also improve United’s chances of agreeing a permanent transfer next summer.
The number 7 shirt was cursed forever when we let Michael Owen wear it. Best of luck to Alexis and his dogs in Italy.