United waits on Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap deal, City moves on

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 20, 2018 08:25 AM
United waits on Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap deal, City moves on
FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez during the English League Cup semifinal first leg soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Chilean player Sanchez has been left out of Arsenalís squad for the Premier League match against Bournemouth on Sunday Jan. 14, 2018, amid interest in the forward from Manchester City and Manchester United. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Jose Mourinho appeared to be in the dark about the progress of Manchester United's attempt to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in a potential swap for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola seemed to know more.

"I think he is going to go to United," Guardiola said about Sanchez, "so congratulations for both of them."

The transfer that has been the talk of English soccer this month still wasn't completed Friday, with Sanchez remaining an Arsenal player heading into the latest round of Premier League matches this weekend.

United and Arsenal are in negotiations over a swap deal involving Sanchez and Mkhitaryan, with Mourinho saying he wasn't sure what was behind the hold-up.

"When it goes to the table of negotiations, I like to be out," Mourinho said. "I will just be calmly waiting for news, no more than that.

"Not done. Not done at all," Mourinho added, when asked if he had an update. "So, in this moment, Mkhitaryan is our player, Sanchez an Arsenal player."

Mkhitaryan trained with United on Friday but has been left out of the squad to play Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. He was also omitted by United for its 3-0 win over Stoke on Monday.

The Armenia midfielder is key to the deal, with Arsenal potentially only allowing Sanchez to leave if the team gets a replacement.

Across town, at a Man City news conference held concurrently with United's, Guardiola spoke like a man who was ready to move on from the Sanchez saga.

City was close to signing Sanchez last year, but a deal fell through on the final day of the transfer window. The Premier League leaders looked to be favorites to sign him when the transfer market reopened this month, yet ended their interest when Sanchez and his agent increased their financial demands.

"Players, when they have contenders (for their signature), decide where they want to play, even their managers (agents) decide where they want to play," Guardiola said. "They've decided that. Good luck."

Liverpool tried to sign Sanchez in 2014 — when the Chile forward chose instead to join Arsenal from Barcelona — and wasn't prepared to make a new bid for him 3 1/2 years later.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said signing Sanchez "makes sense for pretty much each team in the world."

"I have nothing to say about the numbers," Klopp said, "but I cannot imagine that Manchester City leaves the race because of money.

"Maybe it's because there are two opportunities in Manchester, and if you think you can go to one or the other, then maybe one club thinks I don't want him anymore. It's not about money, I'm sure."

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