LONDON • Manchester United could buy Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal even if Henrikh Mkhitaryan refuses to move the other way, with Jose Mourinho hopeful that Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, would sign off a deal financed without money received from the Armenian's sale.
Mino Raiola, Mkhitaryan's agent, has claimed his player holds the key to Sanchez's transfer to United in a transaction that would be worth around £60 million (S$109.47 million) once the Chilean's fee and that of his agent are factored in. But it is understood that if Mkhitaryan does not leave, Mourinho believes that, given the club's robust finances, Woodward could still sanction a move for a player who would potentially vastly improve United.
According to The Telegraph, Sanchez has already agreed a 41/2 year deal with United that is worth £14 million after tax.
There is some disquiet at Old Trafford regarding Raiola's stance and a view that he may be posturing. As Mkhitaryan has regularly been dropped by Mourinho from the match-day squad, his prospects of regular game-time would be bleak should he refuse to leave for Arsenal. This may cause him to accept his career at United is over and agree to the transfer.
Although Sanchez is out of contract in the summer and at 29 would have little or no sell-on value, Mourinho believes the forward would allow a step change in the side's development.
United are second in the Premier League but trail Manchester City by 12 points after 23 matches.
If Manchester United finish in their current position, it would be their highest finish since May 2013, when they won the Premier League.
If they remain there at the end of the season, it would be the club's highest finish since Alex Ferguson claimed a 20th title in May 2013 in the Scot's final season before retirement.
Mourinho himself is set to ink a new deal, with BBC Sport reporting that the extension will see the manager's Old Trafford contract run till 2021.
The Portuguese will agree to stay beyond his current contract, which expires next year, if United offer him terms that he believes reflect the progress of the Red Devils under him. Last year, his first in charge, he claimed two major trophies - the League Cup and Europa League, the latter securing a return to the Champions League.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS