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Unai Emery has confirmed he wanted to sign Alexis Sanchez during his time as Paris Saint-Germain manager.
Sanchez averaged just under a goal every two games during his three-and-a-half-year Arsenal career but he hasn’t been able to replicate that form in Manchester.
The Premier League’s highest-paid player has scored just four times for United and he lost his place as a regular in Jose Mourinho’s team at the end of September following a poor start to the season.
Sanchez has started only once under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the Norwegian confirmed in his press conference on Thursday that he will feature against Arsenal in the cup – and Emery has warned his players to be wary of the former Barcelona winger’s threat.
“I respect him,” Emery said of Sanchez in his pre-match press conference.
“I don’t know why his performances or quality is better or worse in these circumstances. Now, in the last matches, they are playing very, very well with very big performances.
“He’s been starting on the bench after an injury but if he plays, we need to work to stop him because he is a very good player. Now, this team is different. I don’t know why. They are playing with more confidence.
“They are winning their last matches and whether he is playing with one player or another player, they are with big performances.
On his interest in Sanchez at PSG, Emery said: “Alexis is a very good player and when I was at PSG, we thought he could help us.
“We spoke about a lot of players, about a lot of important players, and one was the possibility of Alexis. But it was not possible because of circumstances at the time.”