Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has completed his move to Manchester United, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining the Gunners as part of the deal.
Sanchez, 29, opted to move to Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, where he will earn a wage upwards of £350,000 per week plus bonuses, after a long-touted move to Manchester City fell through.
The Chile star’s contract in north London was due to expire in summer, when it was widely expected he would make the move to City and join up with Pep Guardiola, who he worked with at Barcelona.
But rivals United have beaten them to the punch, completing a deal believed to be worth £40m, with the transfer of Armenian playmaker Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal as a direct replacement.
Sanchez said: “I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans.
“The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down. I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United’s first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here.”
The temperamental forward scored 60 Premier League goals during his time in north London, after moving from Spain in July 2014.
Regularly Arsenal’s talisman, the 5ft7 attacker has only managed to find the net eight times for Arsene Wenger’s men this season.
His campaign has been littered with murmurs of disciplinary problems after a deadline day move to City fell through, when the London side could not complete a deal for his replacement, believed to be Thomas Lemar, in time.
Mkhitaryan agreed terms with Arsenal after a frustrating spell at Old Trafford, where he failed to meet expectations having joined in July 2016.
He said: “I’m very happy that we could finish this deal and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream come true because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal.
“Now that I’m here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history.”
The forward-thinking midfielder, also 29, registered just five goals and six assists in his season and a half in Manchester.
The move could yet see Mkhitaryan link up with former Borussia Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who the Gunners are believed to be closing in on a deal for.
Gabon international Aubameyang, who didn’t travel with Dortmund to their match in Berlin on Friday, has handed in a transfer request with Arsenal making their interest known.
CEO Ivan Gazidis flew to Dortmund over the weekend to help negotiate a deal with the Bundesliga club, convinced a deal for the striker would help the Gunners in their push for a top four spot.