Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez has confirmed he will be joining Inter on an initial 10-month loan from Manchester United. He will join former United teammate Romelu Lukaku, who recently joined Antonio Conte’s team for £74 million this summer.
Sanchez had what can only be described as a disastrous time at Old Trafford since leaving the Emirates Stadium. Having scored only five times in 45 appearances for United, Sanchez’s dismal time in Manchester began with Jose Mourinho. Their relationship soured last year, when Mourinho excluded Sanchez from United’s Champions League victory against Young Boys in July, despite the Chilean having been fully fit. But while Sanchez’s move to United is seen as a flop, the reality is that much of the blame rests with United’s top brass.
Former Chelsea player-turned-pundit, Craig Burley, explained to ESPN FC that he believes the transfer illustrates how poor United’s business in the transfer market has been since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. He goes on to say that Sanchez is only one of the many poor transfers in the past few years and this is reflected on the pitch. United’s latest results against lower-ranked teams have been poor. bwin Premier League’s Man Utd vs. Crystal Palace prediction piece, outlines that while Solskjær’s men got off to a strong start against Chelsea, they failed to pick up three points against Wolves. The defeat to Crystal Palace was further evidence of how much work Solskjær still has to do.
It goes without saying that this move signals Solskjær’s intent on overhauling the squad he inherited from Mourinho and injecting some new blood into it. Prior to the transfer having been confirmed, Solskjær was eager to offload the Chilean before the transfer window closed, despite praising his hard work in training. The main stumbling block, however, was Sanchez’s huge £390,000 per week salary which Inter weren’t willing to pay. Inter drove a hard bargain and United agreed to pay 60% of the Chilean’s weekly salary with Inter shouldering the rest, without an option to buy. This means that United would still be in control at the end of the loan period. Nonetheless, the deal that was finally reached may not be what the Red Devils had hoped for.
In addition to the fact that Sanchez’s departure leaves United without any senior cover in attack, they will also be left with a repeat of this summer’s transfer problems next year. Unless Sanchez thoroughly impresses Conte and a permanent transfer is worked out in the next 10 months, United will be left with a Sanchez who’s a year older and his transfer value most likely further diminished. Sanchez previously spent five years with Italian club Udinese before moving to Barcelona for three years, then spending four at Arsenal. His move to Old Trafford was a low point in his career and remains one of the biggest financial blunders in the history of Manchester United.