Confirmed: Alexis Sanchez to Man Utd and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal
Finally, the longest running transfer saga of the season has come to a welcome end as Manchester United have confirmed the signing of striker Alexis Sanchez while Arsenal have confirmed, as a direct swap deal, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan's arrival to the Emirates.
Sanchez posted a departing message on Instagram thanking his former team-mates, the technical staff at the London club and the medical team but there was no mention of thanks for his ex-manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger was mentioned though as the Chilean international took a swipe at his critics.
"There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage. I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the [manager] to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.
"I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn. Thanks for everything Gunners! All we achieved and the good moments that I gave to the club, I want to dedicate it to the fans, they are the most important."
Sanchez has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at his new club and his comments marking his arrival, on manutd.com, were a bit more positive.
"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."
United boss Jose Mourinho commented that the 29-year-old will be the perfect fit in his attack line.
“Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players. He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige."
Mourinho wished every success to the departing Mkhitaryan who revealed how eager he has been to join the North-London club.
"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."
Wenger believes he has a real all-rounder in the 29-year-old Armenian international, who Arsenal would only say has signed a 'long-term contract'.
"Henrikh is a very complete player. He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances and he’s very committed as well. I must say he’s a player who has all the attributes."
In his time with the Gunners, Sanchez scored 80 goals in 166 appearances and won two FA Cups.
Mkhitaryan scored 13 times in 63 appearances with United since his move to Old Trafford in 2016.