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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says United never saw best of Alexis Sanchez as exit agreed

Arsenal v Manchester United – FA Cup – Fourth Round – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed unmitigated flop Alexis Sanchez’s imminent exit to Inter Milan after Manchester United wrapped up their place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

There was much hype and hope when the forward arrived from Arsenal in January 2018, but the 31-year-old has got nowhere near justifying his eye-watering wages.

Sanchez scored five goals in 45 appearances for United and has spent the season on loan at Inter, who he came on for on Wednesday night as they beat Getafe 2-0 in their Europa League last-16 clash.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta revealed before the match that they would announce the Chile international’s arrival on Thursday – something United boss Solskjaer confirmed after his side beat LASK 2-1 to progress 7-1 on aggregate.

Alexis Sanchez endured a torrid time at Old Trafford

Alexis Sanchez endured a torrid time at Old Trafford (Adam Davy/PA)

“We’ll announce it tomorrow, so I can confirm that he’s agreed and we’ve agreed,” he said. “Alexis enjoyed his time there. 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.”

While the Sanchez situation will come to an end on Thursday, United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho shows little sign of being concluded anytime soon.

Asked how difficult the deal will be to sign the England forward from Borussia Dortmund, Solskjaer said: “Well, we’re looking into all transfers differently. I’m not going to speak about individuals that are not our players.

“I’ve got no news, no update. We’ll update you if something happens.”

Solskjaer was speaking after United easily avoided an unthinkable Europa League exit to LASK.

Five months after winning 5-0 in Austria, substitute Anthony Martial wrapped up a 2-1 comeback victory on a night when Philipp Wiesinger’s stunner had put the visitors ahead.

Jesse Lingard quickly cancelled that goal out and admitted afterwards he was frustrated to be taken off as he wanted to add to his two goals in as many games.

Asked if the attacking midfielder has a future beyond this final few weeks of the season, Solskjaer said: “Every player, when you get your chance in a game or even in training, you’ve got a chance to prove yourself, prove your worth.

Jesse Lingard has scored two in two

Jesse Lingard has scored two in two (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’ve known Jesse since he was a little kid and I know there’s a good player and a great personality to have around.

“He knows what we want from him and he knows he has to stand by the manager whatever decision he makes. I would be disappointed if he was happy coming off.

“He’s growing in confidence. He’s worked really hard on his finishing, especially lately, and I’m happy for him to score.”

Lingard was among nine changes from the side that won 2-0 at Leicester on the final day of the Premier League season and the rust of those peripheral players was in evidence on Wednesday.

“It was as expected, really, against a team that we knew were aggressive team, were going to press us,” Solskjaer said after setting up Monday’s quarter-final with Copenhagen in Cologne.

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“We found it a little bit hard in the beginning to find a rhythm in our passing and we didn’t create chances.

“But we needed game time, some of these players. We needed to win the game, we wanted to win the game and it’s job done.”

As for LASK, they were far better than the 5-0 loss in March in head coach Dominik Thalhammer’s first game in charge.

“I thought we did very well overall and adapted well to the situation here,” he said.

“We did what we intended to do, which was have control of the ball and I think we did well at times in putting that into practice.”