Saturday 23 March 2019

Sanchez denies Henry told him to leave Arsenal

Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez
Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez
Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has denied Thierry Henry told him to leave Arsenal prior to his move to Manchester United.

The Chile forward moved to clarify remarks he made referring to the Gunners' record goalscorer after completing his much-anticipated switch to Old Trafford on Monday.

After the signing was announced by United, Sanchez wrote on Instagram: "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."

Those comments have been construed by some as Henry, who left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007, advising Sanchez that it was time to move on. Henry tweeted himself on Tuesday that this was not the case.

The Frenchman wrote: "I know I don't need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal. I had no idea he was going to sign for Man Utd until I saw it on the news like the rest of you."

Sanchez, 29, could merely have been suggesting there were similarities between the two transfers.

Sanchez tweeted on Wednesday: "I want to clarify that Henry never told me to leave the club, it was a personal decision ... he LOVES the club and someday it would be nice to see him as the arsenal coach because he loves the club."

Sanchez, who scored 80 goals in 166 appearances for Arsenal, was in the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium after turning down a new deal. He had been heavily linked with Manchester City but United became his destination after the Premier League leaders withdrew their interest due to the costs involved.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are prepared to give United two players and cash for David De Gea, according to reports.

United's goalkeeper has long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu and a move broke down at the last minute in 2015.

The club are working hard on a new deal for the Spaniard which would see him given a bumper new deal - and become one of the highest earners at the club. However, according to reports in Don Balon, Real have a plan to test United's resolve and finally land the 27-year-old.

Real president Florentino Perez is reportedly willing to part with current goalkeeper Keylor Navas and midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

The La Liga side will also offer cash as part of the negotiations. United have been linked with Kovacic already in this transfer window but whether Jose Mourinho would agree to switch De Gea for a lesser goalkeeper remains to be seen.

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