Arsenal have let Alexis Sanchez’s contract run into its last year and Manchester City’s desperate attempts to sign him on transfer deadline day ultimately failed.
Next summer, he’ll be a free agent and City will be back in for him, but will Manchester United be in for the Chilean striker?
During the summer, I didn’t hide the fact I’d love to see Sanchez in a Man United shirt.
Premier League proven, one of the best strikers in the league and hungry to win silverware (other than the FA Cup), he would have been a perfect fit to boost a United frontline which struggled last year.
Of course, we’d signed Romelu Lukaku already but when somebody like Sanchez is available, it would be foolish to simply watch and let him join a rival without even challenging for him, even if he wasn’t a perfect fit for what we needed.
Next year, United will need to fully replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is unlikely to stay for a third campaign and Sanchez would be an ideal fit.
He’s a ready made 20 plus Premier League goals-a-season striker and the last time United signed a striker like that from Arsenal was Robin van Persie – that year he almost singlehandedly won us the league in Sir Alex’s last year.
Sanchez could have the same sort of impact at both United and City if he joined.
Had Atletico Madrid not been given a transfer ban, I’m confident Antoine Griezmann would already be a United player and we’d have absolutely no need for Sanchez in the squad – but that isn’t the case and Mourinho will have a choice to make next summer.
Go back in for Griezmann or try and lure Sanchez away from City?
Both players are world class, both will be available – the real question is over who Mourinho feels would suit United more, there’s certainly an argument for either Griezmann or Sanchez.
United’s attacking options next year could be Lukaku, Martial, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Mata and Sanchez.
A combination of European flair in both Martial and Mkhitaryan, homegrown talent in Rashford and a set of the best players signed from Premier League rivals.
It’d be the best attacking set-up we’ve had since the 2007/8 side which tore Europe apart and dropping Griezmann in for Sanchez wouldn’t change that.
There are question marks over whether Sanchez’s attitude is something that could affect United’s dressing room, but for me he’s just desperate to be part of a winning team where his mentality is shared.
He’s isolated at Arsenal, surrounded by uncommitted players happy to plod along the path of mediocrity without fighting.
Under Mourinho, at United, I’d expect Sanchez’s attitude to change, he’d be joining a club who have regained their winning mentality under Mourinho’s guidance, it’s the sort of environment he has craved for years.
Of course, Mourinho would love to get one up on both Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger as well in signing Sanchez.
We’d be strengthening ourselves and weakening two rivals at the same time, what’s not to love about that?
Next year, United will be making more big strides in Mourinho’s third summer transfer window as United boss.
He’s always said he needed three windows to complete his squad and with Sanchez available on a free transfer, it wouldn’t surprise any United fan to see us go in for him.
Maybe, just maybe, Sanchez will be the final piece to Mourinho’s puzzle which brings United one step closer to competing with Europe’s elite once again.