Following Phillipe Coutinho’s record Barcelona move, the story of soccer’s January transfer window has been that of Alexis Sanchez. The Arsenal man has been intent on a move since the summer and with his contract soon to be run out, a move seems imminent.
The Chilean forward has been linked with moves to all of the Premier League’s top sides in Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. But it now seems that a move to Man United has been settled, although there is a rule change standing in the way.
At the start of the 17/18 English Premier League season, the FA brought in the Premier League Short Term Cost Control rules which prevent a club from increasing its wage bill by more than £7 million per season.
It is said that Sanchez has already agreed terms with United, reportedly on £350,000 a week, and that the deal is now in the hands of Henrikh Mhkitaryan of Manchester United. The proposed deal involves Mhkitaryan going to Arsenal along with £25 million in exchange for Sanchez.
Mhkitaryan’s wage demands is what is making it difficult for the Gunners who already committed large wages to Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac in the summer transfer window whilst failing to get rid of players surplus to requirements. The Armenian International wants an increase on his supposed £150,000+ per week deal at United.
Should this eventuate, Mhkitaryan would be earning significantly more than the £130,000 that Sanchez is set to earn in the final months of his Arsenal contract.
Arsenal have already expressed interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux’s Malcom meaning that they would need to move on some notable players in order to clear space on the wage bill.
Arsenal have already successfully sold Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott is set for an Everton medical in the coming days which would see £160,000 wiped off the wage bill. However, it appears that much of the weight is held with Mhkitaryan should any of Arsenal’s desired transfers go through.
Both The Guardian and BBC have said that Mhkitaryan is “in no rush to make a final decision” and is still deliberating as to what is best for him.
There are also reports that an Aubameyang deal could be completed as earlier as this week with Guillem Balague saying “It’s clear that Arsenal are in conversations with the player and Borussia Dortmund”.
It is said that Aubameyang has agreed to personal terms with Arsenal and are waiting on Dortmund to accept their offer.