Alexis Sanchez is taking a big pay cut to leave Manchester United, though one report says the Premier League side actually paid the Chilean star to skip town to Inter Milan.
Surging in form at Inter Milan, the Chilean winger is now a permanent member of the Serie A runners-up after a Thursday announcement, and The Telegraph says United paid between $8 million and $15 million to tear up his contract and take a wage cut to move to Inter Milan.
Alexis, 31, has four goals and nine assists on loan for Antonio Conte this season, three and seven of those coming during the restart.
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Chile’s all-time leader in caps and goals, Sanchez’s production fell off a cliff following a high-profile swap deal that sent him from Arsenal to United in exchange for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Here’s United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, via Sky Sports:
“They’ve liked him, so of course that’s a good move for him. Wish him all the best. He’s a top player that we want to see play his best football. For whatever reason we didn’t see the best of Alexis, but he’s a top professional and we just wish him all the best.”
And his new boss Conte, via The Manchester Evening News:
“The club deserve credit because he came at the worst moment of his career. He arrived after two difficult years when he was really struggling at United and then got injured with us,” Conte said. “We took the time to get him back on track, so it is only right for Inter to enjoy it and reap the rewards of that effort.”
Sanchez went from 24 goals and 11 assists in his last full PL season with the Gunners to a decent 7-goal, 3-assist half season at the Emirates.
A January move to Old Trafford saw Sanchez score five goals and produce nine assists in a season-and-a-half in Manchester.
United and Inter are two wins from meeting in the Aug. 21 Europa League Final in Cologne after the former beat LASK Linz and the latter toppled Getafe in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.Follow @NicholasMendola