‘Sanchez Wanted To stay’
Arsenal legend Robert Pires has said he cannot understand why Alexis Sanchez is being allowed to join rivals Manchester United, adding that he believes the player wanted to stay.
Pires, an Arsenal ambassador, spoke out with Sanchez expected to complete his move in the next 24 hours, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way.
“In my opinion, Alexis wanted to stay at Arsenal,” he told La Tercera newspaper.
“I haven’t spoken to him, but from what I see and feel he was doing very well in London, very well at Arsenal. What Alexis wanted was for Arsenal to spend money on players. That is my opinion and maybe I’m wrong.
“I know that if I have a player like Sanchez, the first thing I do is to renew his contract. Then I would buy players to make a better team and try to win the league.
“What I don’t understand is that a team like Arsenal allows their best men to sign for a rival side.”
Sanchez has scored 60 goals and set up 25 in 122 Premier League appearances for the Londoners since his £30 million move from Barcelona in July 2014.
And Pires said: “Arsenal are losing a great footballer. He has a lot of quality, but above all, he is a winner. If he joins United, they will be very happy there.”
The former France international said he did not believe Sanchez had been unhappy at Arsenal and added: “I’ve been with the first team every day and I see how Alexis is.
“I honestly can say that his behaviour is very good. He is very professional, he always wants to win, even in training.
“It’s a way of telling the team: ‘If you don’t want to be like this, then I leave.’ I think this is all Alexis wanted to prove.
“He’s impressive in training. He is there, working with a smile, and happy. He has a very positive attitude towards himself and towards Arsenal.”