Report: Mourinho privately admitted he wanted Ivan Perisic at Manchester United instead of Alexis Sanchez
A report in The Times claims Alexis Sanchez is deeply unhappy at United and is pursuing a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
It has echoes of Angel di Maria – another expensive South American who could not settle on or off the pitch in Manchester.
There is no getting away from the fact Sanchez has been a disappointment. He does not look like the player United thought they were getting.
Sanchez has made slight improvements recently and there is still a chance he comes back into form.
The big problem for him is that he cannot seem to command a regular starting place and is being outperformed by Anthony Martial.
Jose Mourinho was hugely excited when he landed Sanchez, but is still claimed to have preferred another player.
The Times report states: “Mourinho gladly took Sánchez in January, but privately he has admitted that he would have preferred it had the club pushed to sign Ivan Perisic, the winger from Inter Milan, in the summer of 2017 instead. Mourinho feels the Croatian’s crossing ability is superior to that of Sánchez, which is an important asset in a team with such tall players like United. “
Ed Woodward refused to meet Inter Milan’s asking price for Perisic and United missed out.
There seems to be no going back for Perisic either, with Inter finally qualifying for the Champions League and the Croatian’s value soaring after his World Cup performances.
He is now 29-years-old and under contract to 2022 – this summer he was reported to be valued at £70 million .
United’s pursuit of Perisic was no secret but it was presumed Mourinho was happier to have signed Sanchez.
Perhaps this is a convenient re-writing of events by The Times – or possibly Mourinho was never quite sure how to make Sanchez fit into his United system.
Time could be running out for player and manager to make it work. Sanchez playing a starring role against City again this weekend could help kickstart his United career.