Arsenal reportedly asked for Luke Shaw as part of the Alexis Sanchez transfer deal, but finally had to settle for Manchester United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
According to The Sun, Arsenal reportedly demanded Luke Shaw as part of the Alexis Sanchez swap deal with Manchester United before settling for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to move to the Emirates. The Sanchez transfer saga duly concluded with the Chilean finally joining Manchester United and Mkhitaryan moving to Arsenal as part of the deal.
Alexis Sanchez’s future has been up in the air since refusing to sign a new contract midway through last season. Arsenal, however, stood their ground and were adamant all summer that the Chilean would finish his contract with the Gunners at the end of the current season.
Although Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Arsenal, he as reported, was not the first choice player that Arsene Wenger wanted as part of the deal. It was Manchester United’s English left-back, Luke Shaw who Wenger is said to have identified as the perfect player.
So having demanded the young Englishman in the Sanchez deal, United seem to have swiftly refused the idea of sending the left-back to the Emirates and instead gave the option of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, which Arsenal have agreed without much fuss.
Luke Shaw’s Manchester United career hasn’t been a smooth one either. Like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he too has struggled to convince Manager Jose Mourinho about his credibility, meaning his place in the squad remains uncertain. Shaw made 19 appearances last season in all competition and has managed only 14 this season.
Mourinho has been vocal about several players and his displeasure at their style and attitude on the pitch. Shaw has been one of these players. While Mourinho has heavily preferred Ashley Young in the left back slot, and to his credit, the 32-year-old has been performing like a twenty-something youngster this season.
Young has been the preferred choice at Left-back, going on to make 21 appearances in all competitions so far, with 18 of them coming in the Premier League. This resulted in Shaw being drawn to speculation regarding his future and Manchester United had reportedly slapped a £20 million price tag for any January suitors.
Apart from Young’s rising form, there were heavy links to Tottenham’s Danny Rose as United seemingly were looking to fill up the left-back position in January. Although this stance has slightly changed recently, as Shaw has been displaying some of the form that prompted United to make him the costliest teenager when he was transferred from Southampton.
Arsene Wenger would have had an eye on Shaw’s contract which ends in six months, but United are reportedly set to take up the option to extend it by another year. Wenger wanted Shaw to become the long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal as the Spaniard approaches his advanced years.
Manchester United were firm in rejecting this idea and instead offered Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his place. Although the Gunners have signed the Armenian to replace Sanchez, one could expect them to be on the lookout for a left back in the next summer window.