Alexis Sanchez to Become England's Highest-Paid Player Ever with Manchester United Move 'Likely'

Alexis Sanchez is on the verge of becoming the highest-paid player in Premier League history after Arsene Wenger admitted a move from Arsenal to Manchester United was "likely."

Sanchez has been in talks with Manchester United for the past week after a move to the Premier League leaders Manchester City fell through due to his wage demands.

The 29-year-old forward had asked City to pay him £500,000-a-week, a demand which was refused and saw Pep Guardiola's team withdraw their interest, according to The Times. United is now in place to sign Sanchez after agreeing to a salary of £450,000-a-week, making him by the highest-paid player in English football.

"It is likely to happen but any minute things can break down," Wenger said on Thursday (January 18), as quoted by the BBC. "As long as it's not over the line you can accept it might not happen.

"I worked on transfers for 30 years so it is likely to happen, but at any moment it can break down."

Sanchez, who also wants a £20 million signing-on fee from United, would need to be registered with the Premier League by midday on Friday if he is to make his debut for Jose Mourinho's team this weekend.

Sanchez could make his first appearance for his new club at Old Trafford on Saturday when United host Burnley, but Wenger also insisted he would continue to represent Arsenal until the transfer is complete.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez at Stamford Bridge, London, January 10. Sanchez is set to become the highest-paid player in Premier League history. Catherine Ivill/Getty

"I have no problems with Sanchez," the Arsenal manager said. "He trained yesterday. He is 29 years old and the next contract is very important for him. We did the maximum we could afford to do [with Sanchez's contract offer].

"[Sanchez's move to United] can happen can as well not happen. It's at that stage. If it doesn't happen he will play on Saturday [against Crystal Palace]."

Asked about the prospect of signing Sanchez on Tuesday, Mourinho said he thought his team had a "chance" but also accepted the Chilean may end up remaining at the Emirates Stadium.

"I am not confident, but also not unconfident. Just relaxed and we have the feeling that he is an Arsenal player," he said. "We have the feeling that he can stay there. But also the feeling that he can move and if he moves, I think we have a chance."

The delay is believed to be down to Arsenal's negotiations with United as they look to bring Henrikh Mkhitaryan to North London as a replacement. The Armenian forward, who only joined United from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016, has been left out of recent squads by Mourinho and appears to be viewed as surplus to requirements.

Speaking to UEFA in 2009, Mkhitaryan described Arsenal as his "favorite team" and said he admired Wenger. "I like their attacking play and fast style," he said. "Moreover, Arsene Wenger puts faith in young players while demanding results at the same time. I like that and want to play there one day."