Thursday 18 July 2019

Jose is calm over move for Sanchez

'There is no point trying to deny it but it is not done, it is not done at all'

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri (right) during the Premier League match at Old Trafford
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri (right) during the Premier League match at Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho claims he is calm over Alexis Sanchez's proposed move to Manchester United and confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not feature at Burnley while negotiations continue.

United were unable to complete the formalities of Sanchez's switch from Arsenal by the midday deadline yesterday in order for him to be available to make his debut at Turf Moor today.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said on Thursday it was "likely" Sanchez would be a United player within 24 hours, yet Mourinho insists he is relaxed over a proposed deal that could see midfielder Mkhitaryan move in the opposite direction.

On the latest with Sanchez, Mourinho said: "Nothing new, I think everybody knows that we are there and especially when Arsenal's manager speaks so clearly there is no point in trying to hide or to deny.

"But it's not done, not done at all, so in this moment Mkhitaryan's our player, Sanchez is an Arsenal player and with a match tomorrow I want to switch off and focus what is the most important thing, which is the match."


Asked if the deal was dependant on Mkhitaryan moving to north London as well, Mourinho replied: "I don't know.

"Sometimes people think transfers involve a lot the managers in the negotiations, I think it depends on the profile of the club, on the way we establish our jobs and in my case when it goes to the table of negotiations I like to be out, I am out and I will just calmly waiting for news, no more than that."

Mkhitaryan was left out of the United squad that faced Stoke on Monday due to the uncertainty over his future and Mourinho confirmed he would be absent at Burnley too.

"No, not selected," he added. "But in very good condition, training really well and in good conditions like the others."

Both Mkhitaryan and Sanchez trained with their respective sides on Friday and Wenger confirmed the latter could be involved for Arsenal against Crystal Palace on Saturday should any move not materialise beforehand.

Though Mourinho has ruled out Mkhitaryan at Burnley, he does have Ashley Young back from suspension.

However, his glowing reference of Luke Shaw, who has started the past successive five games - his longest run in Mourinho's time at the club, suggests he will retain his left-back spot.

"(He's) played very well," Mourinho added of Shaw.

"He was already improving and playing well when I started playing him after that long spell without minutes. I remember the first time, in the Champions League, he was coming step by step and now with a good run of matches and continuity also, playing like he did against Everton two days after a previous match - good, solid, physically much better, mentally much stronger, tactically understanding much better the game and what we need in different phases and circumstances.

"I'm really happy. You like the transfer market, I can say that in this moment I don't see many left-backs better than this Luke Shaw."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, meanwhile, believes the imminent arrival of Sanchez at United highlights the challenge facing the likes of Burnley to keep afloat in the Premier League.

Sanchez is expected to sign a deal worth £500,000 a week at Old Trafford, more than the wage bill of the Burnley squad, who will look to end their six-match winless run against Jose Mourinho's men at Turf Moor.

Despite their slump, the Clarets have continued to exceed expectations in the top flight, but Dyche conceded the spending power of the top clubs is making it increasingly difficult to do so.

Dyche said: "I don't think any of us are surprised by the gap in the Premier League - I think it's been there a long time and it's getting harder year on year since the business model of football has changed.

"I always got the impression when I was younger that even the big clubs with the spending power had an eye on the business side of things.

"It seems to me now that people are putting more and more money in. It doesn't seem to be a six-monthly thing any more - the big clubs have big backers and they are going get backed continually.

"Every time a super-power spends enormous money on a player that drip-feeds down so every player you phone about has gone miraculously up in value," added Dyche.

He will be boosted by the timely return of Scott Arfield for the visit of United after the midfielder suffered a hamstring strain in the New Year's Day defeat by Liverpool.

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