The much-speculated swap transfer of the January transfer window is now officially completed.
Alexis Sanchez, previously of Arsenal FC completed a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan, previously of Manchester United FC join the former. In a rare player-for-player swap, this indeed was the most widely speculated and reported transfer in Europe. In a game which is seeing the transfer prices skyrocket, this transfer saw no reported monetary exchange between the two clubs, but only players swapping the clubs.
Manchester United have gazumped title rivals and favorites Manchester City to the signing of Alexis Sanchez (29). It was reported that Manchester City had put in a bid of £60m in the summer of 2017, which was eventually turned down, for the player who would soon be out of contract by the end of the 2017-18 season. Even in the beginning of the transfer window, Manchester City looked to be the desired and preferred destination of the Chilean international. Sanchez, now at United, reportedly earns a whopping £350,000 per week, which is cited widely as the reason he chose United over City. An experienced Premier League player, Sanchez can play anywhere in the attack for Manchester United as they look to gain in on the lead Manchester City have in the Premier League. Alexis will wear the fabled #7 shirt at Manchester United which was previously worn by club legends George Best, Eric Cantona, Beckham, Bryan Robson, Cristiano Ronaldo, amongst others. United boss Jose Mourinho said. “Alexis is one of the best-attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players.”
Going the other way around, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (29) joins Arsenal FC after an inconsistent spell with the Europa League holders lasting for around 1½ seasons under United boss Jose Mourinho. Amid reports that Arsenal wanted Anthony Martial or Luke Shaw to be a part of the transfer deal instead of Mkhitaryan, the completed deal might just benefit Arsenal much more than imagined. Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger said that “It is a great deal for both the clubs. Both clubs lost a world class player and gained one”. The Armenian had previously, back in 2009, expressed his desire to play for Arsenal, while playing for Borussia Dortmund. For Arsenal, it certainly looks like a good deal as they found a direct replacement for Sanchez, a player who increasingly seemed irreplaceable. Mkhitaryan will take over the #7 shirt, vacated by Sanchez.
In the other top January, transfer deals round up,
Phillipe Coutinho completed his transfer from Liverpool FC to FC Barcelona for a whopping €120m. This transfer saga finally concluded in January as Coutinho’s attempt to force a transfer in the summer of 2017, failed. Talking of failed attempts becoming successful, Liverpool completed the transfer of defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for a world record of €78m. van Dijk too failed to force a transfer back in the summer of 2017 but was completed in January. Ross Barkley joined Chelsea from Everton for €16.9m which seems like a complete bargain in this transfer window, is so, because of Barkley’s contract with Everton which would end in the summer of 2018. FC Barcelona along with its attack also seeks to bolster their defense with the signing of Yerry Mina from Palmeiras for a reported €11.8m
With the World Cup coming up soon in June 2018, players are making their moves to up their quality and game time. One way or another, we have a belter coming our way.