Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez returned to senior training on Friday to say goodbye to his teammates ahead of his almost completed move to Manchester United, The Daily Mail reported.
The 29-year-old Chilean was left out of the squad for Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace. Earlier this week, however, he was called up to the squad for training as Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger was considering his participation in the game.
All signs indicate that Sanchez’s move to Old Trafford is almost completed and will soon be officially announced.
Alexis Sanchez shirts have been removed from the club (AFC) store. Announce imminent 🇨🇱👀. #mufc— JM (@Mourinholic) 20 января 2018 г.
The deal will reportedly make him the highest paid player in the Premier League. Sanchez will earn £350,000 ($485,000) a week plus an extra £100,000 ($139,000) for image rights under a four-and-a-half-year contract.
The Red Devils will reportedly pay £35 million ($48.5 million) for Sanchez.
Shearer: “If Alexis Sanchez had two years left on his current contract in this current climate he would be valued at around £80m to £100m. If Manchester United get a player of his quality for only £35m, it will be a great deal for them.” #mufc [coral]— United Xtra (@utdxtra) 20 января 2018 г.
Many on social media have been praising Sanchez’s performance with Arsenal and expressed gratitude for what he did for the club.
"You have given us gooners so many great memories in the last few years. You were the drive and the passion of the arsenal team," one user said on Twitter.
Dear @Alexis_Sanchez, you have given us gooners so many great memories in the last few years. You were the drive and the passion of the arsenal team. If today is your last day at the club, goodbye and I wish you all the best. Thank you🙏 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/9DdsItUOZp— George Haddock (@GeorgeHaddock) 20 января 2018 г.
Honestly, I’ve loved every minute watching Alexis Sanchez and will never forget what he’s done for Arsenal but I hope he tears both ACL’s on his first day of training.— Humberto (@HumbertoLDN) 19 января 2018 г.
Whatever people say, he gave 100% for the club and made a difference on the pitch. Quality player leaving us. Thank you Alexis Sánchez! 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/Jv3vABtmcW— Lacazette FC (@Lacazest) 20 января 2018 г.
Thank you for what you have done at @Arsenal football club @Alexis_Sanchez I appreciate the effort and dedication you put into us sorry our deluded club let you down with trophies. Enjoy your new chapter with the wankers @ManUtd 😭😡 pic.twitter.com/1DSlxJwyqx— mason🇬🇧🤑 (@masonkeetch123) 19 января 2018 г.
For many Arsenal fans, the possible transfer is a really heartbreaking moment.
A very sad moment for Arsenal fans, Alexis Sanchez was one of the players we really hoped we can achieve trophies, which we did indeed but we all wanted him to win PL which we couldn't. 2014/15 was the year, we all saw what caliber Alexis had. Good luck @Alexis_Sanchez. 🙏😢 pic.twitter.com/8OGOkIZvH1— Arsenal (@DammitArsenal) 17 января 2018 г.
@Alexis_Sanchez I love you bro, I was in tears watching videos on you last night we will miss you and didn’t deserve us absolute world class couldn’t believe I could witness you, hope to see you back at the emirates after your contract for one last run❤️ #ElNinoMaravilla— J17 (@MesutOssist) 19 января 2018 г.
@Alexis_Sanchez You know words can’t describe how gutted Im going to be to see you leave. Just wish you could of retired as a great arsenal legend. You made me fall in love with football all over again. Nothing but love my friend I’m going to be sad and upset to see you go! 💔😪 pic.twitter.com/5dGC3bMpSf— Nathan (@King_CuLLuM) 19 января 2018 г.
Some, however, suggest that Arsenal will feel better without Sanchez.
Alexis Sanchez is a fraud. Arsenal is better without him— Sir Omayo Griffins (@RealOG_) 20 января 2018 г.
Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez: 3 goals within 6 minutes.— Danny Welbeck (@WelBeast) 20 января 2018 г.
What if Alexis Sanchez was the problem?
In addition to Manchester United, other Premier League clubs also expressed interest for Sanchez, including Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
"What I know right now is Alexis is still an Arsenal player. I think he is going to go to United so congratulations to both of them. In the end, the players and managers decide where they want to play. Good luck," said City’s manager Pep Guardiola, with whom Sanchez worked during his years in FC Barcelona.
Sanchez joined Arsenal in 2014, after leaving Barcelona. He has scored 60 goals in 122 Premier League games for the Gunners.