Alexis Sanchez Reveals He Wanted to Leave Man Utd After His First Training Session

Alexis Sanchez regretted joining Man Utd on day one | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has revealed that he regretted joining the club after his very first training session and immediately wanted to tear up his contract and return to Arsenal.

Sanchez made the high profile switch to Old Trafford in January 2018 in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who didn’t fare much better at Arsenal. He had previously been close to joining Manchester City, but United gazumped their neighbours with an enormous contract.

Alexis SanchezSanchez signed for Man Utd in January 2018 | Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

That deal made Sanchez, a two-time FA Cup winner with the Gunners and arguably the best forward in the Premier League at the time, the highest paid player in England on terms that could reach around £500,000 per week with various bonuses.

Looking back, it was clear to see it was a mistake for both parties. Sanchez looked a shadow of his former self in a United shirt, while the club had blown apart the wage structure to do the deal, which was both a significant financial burden and a problem in later talks for other players.

But to now hear that Sanchez was unhappy as soon as day one stills comes as a shock, admitting that he accepted the offer without much ‘information’ and relying on his perception of the club he had as a child. It seems neither player nor club did suitable due diligence.

“I got the opportunity to go to United and it seemed tempting to me. It was something nice for me, because when I was a kid I liked that club a lot,” Sanchez explained in an Instagram video.

“I ended up signing without much information about what was happening in the move. The first days that I was with my teammates, sometimes there are things that you do not realise until you arrive. 

“In the first training session I realised many things. I went home and I told my representative, ‘Can’t the contract be terminated to return to Arsenal?’ They start laughing and I told them that something did not sit right with me. But it had already been signed.”

Sanchez also lamented the personal blame he took for United’s problems. He was reported to be something of a loner at Carrington with few friends that he interacted or conversed with. His wages were also regularly quoted in media reports criticising both him and the club.

Alexis SanchezSanchez scored five goals in 45 Man Utd appearances | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

“Journalists spoke without knowing and it bothered me, it hurt. Former players spoke who had no idea of ​​anything that was happening inside the club and gave their opinion damaging you, that it was your fault. Because they had to blame someone, they blamed me,” he said.

“It bothered me that things did not go the way I wanted. If the atmosphere had been more positive, it would have turned out differently. I would have liked to win everything.”

Sanchez eventually got his wish to terminate his contract, but only after 18 hellish months in Manchester and a season on loan at Inter, with United reaching an agreement to cancel the deal this summer and the Chilean making the move to Inter a permanent one.

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