Manchester United’s worst ever signing will soon be off their wage bill. On Wednesday, both United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed that a deal has been agreed for the transfer of Alexis Sánchez. Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, Marotta said:
“It will be official tomorrow [Thursday] in the morning. The player is completely ours and we have a three-year contract with him. We think he can be a full member of our squad.”
Following United’s Europa League win over LASK, Solskjaer also confirmed the impending transfer:
“We’ll announce it tomorrow [Thursday]. He’s agreed and we’ve agreed. He enjoyed his time there and they’ve liked him. He’s a top player who we want to see playing his best football. We didn’t see the best of him for whatever reason. He’s a top professional, now we just wish him all the best.”
After a miserable spell at United where Sánchez only managed 5 goals in 45 largely disappointing appearances, the Chilean moved to Inter on loan at the start of this season. Despite some struggles with injury, Sánchez has rediscovered form with the Serie A side, and Nerazzurri manager (for now) Antonio Conte was keen to extend the forward’s stay in Milan.
After signing for United from Arsenal in a sensational cut-price swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move in the other direction, Sánchez was expected to reproduce the kind of play that made him the most devastating attacker in the Premier League at one point. These expectations were only exacerbated by the player’s extraordinary wage packet — Sánchez’s expiring contract (and resulting reduced transfer fee) meant that he was able to negotiate a number of very lucrative bonuses into his salary. When he failed to perform however, those wages become a millstone around the proverbial neck of his employers.
In fact, Sánchez’s rumored £500,000-a-week salary is the main reason why his transfer to Inter is reported to not even involve a transfer fee. Instead, Inter will get their no. 7 on a permanent deal, and will cover the full cost of his salary.
Update: Both clubs have now officially confirmed the transfer, and some reports now say that United still had to agree a partial pay off of the (sit down for this part) £40,000,000 remaining on Sánchez’s contract. God almighty. The player has signed a three-year deal with Inter.