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ALEXIS SANCHEZ says Jose Mourinho was the key reason he left Arsenal to join Manchester United.
Official confirmation of football’s worst kept secret came today with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.
The Chile forward arrives at Old Trafford after three-and-a-half years at the Emirates.
On why moved, Sanchez said: “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 Manchester United‘s first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here.”
Boss Mourinho added: “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.”
Sanchez almost joined Manchester City at the end of the August transfer window but that deal fell through as Arsene Wenger was unable to sign a replacement in time.
He scored 80 goals in 166 appearances after the London club paid £35million for him in July 2014, and won the FA Cup in 2015 and 2017, scoring in both finals.
Missing out on the Champions League this season was a bitter disappointment, however, followed by another blow when Chile failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals.
A move to either of the Manchester clubs became a preferable option to signing a new contract. Arsenal wanted Mkhitaryan in exchange and he was delighted to join the 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,” said Mkhitaryan.
Wenger added: “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.”