Alexis Sanchez to finally head out to the United States and join Manchester United’s pre-season tour

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez did not travel on the club pre-season tour to the United States of America on Sunday when the 24-man squad left Manchester for Los Angeles. Speculation was rife on Twitter with some ‘attention seekers’ suggesting the player was being sold. This led to the media seeking answers as to why the player did not leave Manchester and was training, alone, at the clubs Aon training complex in Carrington.

It was reported that Sanchez, a Chilean citizen, was experiencing visa issues, presumably because of a tax fraud conviction due to image rights when he was a Barcelona player in which the player accepted a suspended prison sentence. On Wednesday, Jose Mourinho held his press conference ahead of the first pre-season match against Club America in Phoenix in the early hours of Friday morning in the United Kingdom where he was asked about Sanchez’s unavailability. The Portuguese manager said:

“I don’t know. It’s really bad, really sad. It’s not good for him, for me for the team, for the organisation of the (International Champions) cup. It’s not good for anyone. 

“But there is no-one to blame, the club is making the effort I have to respect the US authorities in their process of visas, but hopefully he will join us later because it could be important to work with (Anthony) Martial, Alexis and (Juan) Mata who are the players we have in attack for the start of the season.

“No (Romelu) Lukaku, (Jesse) Lingard, Marcus Rashford, so if Alexis is not working with us for 20 days it would be really bad.”

On Thursday, it seemed that Sanchez’s visa problems had been solved with the player posting on social media a picture of himself with a coach from the club with the slogan; “Last training in Manchester”, followed by the word ‘soon’ followed by an emoji of the flag of the United States of America. Perhaps Mourinho only told the media what they wanted to hear so they could become entangled in the speculation surrounding Sanchez and his visa instead of anything else? It has also been confirmed that Sanchez’s visa issues have been resolved.

It is unlikely that Sanchez will play in any of the first two matches of the pre-season tour, being that one will kick off in around 11 and a half hours time (at the publishing of this article), with the second one coming on Sunday evening. Although the player has been training, he has not been working with his teammates, which could pencil him in for the first match of the International Champions Cup, which will be played against AC Milan on the 26th July (04:05 BST).

Sanchez has had his first summer break in a number of years and will endure the majority of the pre-season tour, possibly playing four matches against AC Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich this summer, ahead of the Premier League opener against Leicester City, which will be played at Old Trafford on Friday 10 August 2018, a day after the transfer window, for incoming players, closes.

Sanchez being fit and ready for the new season will be a big bonus with Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Ashley Young all likely to miss the first match of the new season, possibly more matches with them all returning to training on Monday 6 August 2018 after their participation in the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer. Mourinho will probably have known that Sanchez’s visa issues were coming to an end, not having to share that with the media, of course.

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