Mkhitaryan key to United-Sanchez deal, claims Raiola

Manchester United will not sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal unless Henrikh Mkhitaryan agrees to move the other way, according to the Armenian's agent Mino Raiola.

United emerged as frontrunners for Sanchez's signature last weekend with rivals Manchester City reportedly pulling out due to concerns over the finances of a move for the Chile international, whose contract at Emirates Stadium expires at the end of the season.

The Red Devils are said to be willing to include Mkhitaryan – who has started just one Premier League match in the past two months and was left out of the squad for Monday's 3-0 victory over Stoke City – as part of a prospective switch.

It is claimed Arsenal are requesting £35million for Sanchez, and Raiola says his client will play a pivotal role in the outcome of their negotiations with United.

"Manchester United are not going to sign Sanchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal," Raiola told The Times.

"Mkhi is going to do what is best for him. He has two and a half years left on his contract, so it's his decision."

Raiola emphasised his opinion that Mkhitaryan is the centre-piece of the transfer talks, not the Arsenal forward.

"Sanchez is part of the Mkhi deal, not the other way around," he added.

United boss Jose Mourinho said on Monday he was "not unconfident" of completing a swoop for Sanchez, but Chelsea are also thought to have entered the race. 

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