Man United get Alexis Sanchez for Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Football's biggest swap deals

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Mkhitaryan for Sanchez is the latest high-profile swap.

Alexis Sanchez has completed his move from Arsenal to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at five other player-swap deals and how they worked out for those involved.

ASHLEY COLE AND WILLIAM GALLAS

Ashley Cole’s deadline day move to Chelsea from rivals Arsenal in 2006 brought to an end one of the most bitter transfers of the Premier League era and saw William Gallas go the other way, along with a fee of £5million. Cole, a member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, added another league title with the Blues as well as four FA Cups and the Champions League in 2012 in a successful eight-year spell. Gallas won nothing with the Gunners and moved to Tottenham on a free in 2010.

Cole and Gallas swapped in one of the most acrimonious transfers in history.

Cole and Gallas swapped in one of the most acrimonious transfers in history.

KEVIN DAVIES AND JAMES BEATTIE

Roy Hodgson was in charge of Blackburn in 1998 when they paid Southampton £7.5million for striker Kevin Davies and also threw in James Beattie. But Davies managed just one league goal all season as Rovers were relegated, while Southampton beat the drop with Beattie scoring five times. Davies rejoined Saints a year later, this time in a swap with Egil Ostenstad. Beattie stayed at Southampton until 2005, scoring 68 goals.

James Beattie and Kevin Davies were swapped for each other, then became teammates.

James Beattie and Kevin Davies were swapped for each other, then became teammates.

JERMAIN DEFOE AND BOBBY ZAMORA

Tottenham emerged with the only major signing on deadline day in January 2004 when they landed Jermain Defoe from relegated West Ham in a £7million deal which saw Bobby Zamora move in the opposite direction. The transfer worked for both clubs, Defoe scoring 91 Premier League goals over two spells with Spurs and Zamora hitting the winner in the 2005 Championship play-off final which saw West Ham secure their return to the top flight.

Defoe and Zamora squared off numerous times after their initial swap deal.

Defoe and Zamora squared off numerous times after their initial swap deal.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC AND SAMUEL ETO’O

Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed a five-year contract with Barcelona in 2009 to end his three-year spell at Inter Milan, with the Spaniards paying £40million and sending popular forward Samuel Eto’o to Italy in return. In one of the rare disappointments of his glittering career, Ibrahimovic spent just a year at the Nou Camp before joining AC Milan in 2010 after falling out with Pep Guardiola. Eto’o, meanwhile, thrived in Serie A winning the domestic title and a Champions League winner’s medal under Jose Mourinho.

The Eto'o-Ibrahimovic transfer is one of football's highest-profile swap deals.

The Eto’o-Ibrahimovic transfer is one of football’s highest-profile swap deals.

ANDY COLE AND KEITH GILLESPIE

A shock move in 1995 saw Newcastle swap their star striker Andy Cole for £6million plus Manchester United winger Keith Gillespie. At Old Trafford, Cole won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League – including the treble in 1999 – and scored a total of 121 goals in 275 games. Gillespie was also a success with the Toon, becoming a key figure in Kevin Keegan’s entertaining side which twice finished runners-up to United.

Keith Gillespie for Andy Cole: a deal that worked out well for both sides.

Keith Gillespie for Andy Cole: a deal that worked out well for both sides.

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Man United signing Alexis Sanchez takes parting shot at critics in Arsenal farewell message

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Alexis Sanchez has completed his move to Manchester United from Arsenal, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading the other way in one of the most high-profile swap moves of all time.

The finishing touches to the deal were made on Monday and an announcement that the two 29-year-olds had traded places was made at 6pm.

United’s new number seven Sanchez, who missed Arsenal’s win over Crystal Palace on Saturday while negotiations over a switch continued, posted a departing message on Instagram where he took aim at ex-Arsenal players that have been critical of him.

Though his social-media post did not reference anyone directly, Sanchez wrote: “There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage.

“I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister (Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger) to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.”

Martin Keown, a former Gunners defender, had called Sanchez “the biggest mercenary in football”, with reports suggesting the Chilean forward will earn £500,000 a week at Old Trafford.

United’s rivals Manchester City had tried to sign Sanchez in the summer and revisited the possibility in this window only to pull out due to the rising costs.

Arsenal wanted £35million for a player out of contract in the summer and United’s willingness to meet Sanchez’s wage demands and use a makeweight in Mkhitaryan, who is valued at the Gunners’ asking price, allowed a straight swap to take place.

“Since I was a young lad I’ve always said that my dream was to play for Manchester United, and I’m not just saying that because I’m here now and today it’s come true,” Sanchez told MUTV.

“I always said as a kid that I’d like to play for United and I once spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson about it. We chatted for around 20 minutes. And I told him that my dream was to come here to Manchester United.

“It really is a massive club, very powerful, and so now when I got the opportunity to come here I looked at the badge and my hairs just stood up on end because it’s a powerful club and the biggest in England.”

United boss Mourinho lauded the acquisition of Sanchez, adding: “Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players.

“He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.”

In his Instagram post, Sanchez also referenced speaking to Thierry Henry, who left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007.

“I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn,” Sanchez added.

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Barcelona midfielder Rafinha joins Inter Milan on loan with €35m option to buy

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Rafinha leaves Barcelona for Inter Milan on loan

Inter Milan have announced the loan signing of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move.

He has agreed a move to San Siro until 30 June 2018, when Inter can buy the player for a fee of €35million  plus add-ons.

The 24-year-old has struggled to cement his place in the Barca team since making his debut in November 2011.

Rafinha has recently recovered from a knee injury he sustained in April, playing 12 minutes in his first match of the season in the 1-0 Copa del Rey defeat at Espanyol last week.

The signing has not gone down too well with former midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, who spent 10 years at Inter, who told Sky Sport Italia: “With Rafinha, it must be said that Inter are bringing in a Barcelona reserve.

“Therefore, an interesting player has arrived, but (Barca) have only given him to them because he’s not been playing. That’s the truth.”

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