Arsenal players have grown ‘weary’ of the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga and wish for him to be sold before this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace.
Sanchez is expected to join Manchester United in the coming days, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed the other way.
Arsene Wenger used his press conference on Thursday to explain why Arsenal want to sign Mkhitaryan.
To save you the bother of reading all the latest updates on both moves, we have collated them all in one handy place:
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Did you know Sanchez was going to cost United £180m? Were you under the impression that they would be spending £35m? Silly you.
Matt Law of the Telegraph puts you right. He says the ‘breathtaking deal’ that will take Sanchez to Old Trafford ‘is worth around £180m’. Because they are including his fee, his wages, his signing-on fee, his agent’s fees, his breakfast, his hair products and his Uber from the airport.
The only thing left is for Mkhitaryan to give the ‘green light’. Quite why his wages and his transfer fee are not being factored into the supposed £180m cost of signing Sanchez is beyond us.
THE INDEPENDENT: So the Telegraph claim that Sanchez’s wages amount to around £500,000. Miguel Delaney of the Independent reports that the Chilean will earn ‘wages of over £400,000’ at United. Both could technically be right, we suppose.
He cites sources as saying that ‘significant progress’ has been made in Arsenal’s negotiations with Mkhitaryan, who has “nearly a 0% chance” of returning to Borussia Dortmund, as had been mooted before.
THE GUARDIAN: Mkhitaryan seems to be key to any moves, as agent Mino Raiola suggested earlier this week. Yet Jamie Jackson reports that Sanchez could join United ‘even if’ the Armenian doesn’t head the other way. ‘José Mourinho hopes Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, would sign off a deal financed without money from the Armenian’s sale.’
LONDON EVENING STANDARD: James Olley is here to tell you that even Arsenal players are bored of the Sanchez situation now. Many players have ‘grown weary’ and ‘want a resolution’ this week. Sanchez ‘has become an increasingly divisive figure’, and part of the reason Wenger dropped him to the bench against Bournemouth was ‘based on tensions within the camp’.
Olley adds that Mkhitaryan’s wages are the biggest stumbling block for the move to be completed. The situation is complicated by the fact that Arsenal offered Sanchez £300,000 a week to stay, and Raiola is using that as an example as to proof that the Gunners have plenty more money to offer his client than his current £140,000 wage at United.
In a further story on Thursday, Olley adds that one thing is holding the deals up: Arsenal want an extra £10m as opposed to this being a straight swap. ‘They believe Sanchez’s valuation is not mirrored by Mkhitaryan after a disappointing 18-month spell at United,’ he writes.
MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS: Now this is the big scoop. As Samuel Luckhurst writes: ‘Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained at Carrington on Wednesday and we are told even the concierge at his apartment block refused to clarify whether he was moving out or not when a fan who lives in the building tried to interrogate them.’