Inter Milan on Tuesday said Chile forward Alexis Sanchez will see a specialist in Barcelona to determine if he needs surgery for a serious ankle injury sustained on international duty.
Sanchez hobbled off in the 88th minute of a goalless draw in the friendly against Colombia in Alicante on Saturday.
He underwent medical tests in Milan on Tuesday which revealed damage to a tendon in his left ankle.
Inter said Sanchez, 30, will travel to Barcelona to consult with surgeon Professor Ramon Cugat on Wednesday to establish whether an operation is required.
Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda said on Monday he that the forward could be out for up to three months.
“We have to see what diagnosis they make in the club, because it is decisive for us,” the Chilean coach said.
“If there is surgery we could lose him two to three months, if not, it could be a matter of weeks. That depends on the club. They own the player.”
Chile play Guinea on Tuesday in another friendly, also in the Spanish resort, but Rueda said he was worried that the former Arsenal and Manchester United player might miss the start of South American World Cup qualifying in March.
Sanchez joined Inter on loan from Manchester United this season, but has made just four appearances.
He was sent off in his first full start after scoring in a 3-1 win over Sampdoria.
Inter are second in the Italian league one point behind defending champions Juventus after seven matches.
Alexis Sanchez believes his failure to shine in a dismal 18 months at Manchester United prior to joining Inter Milan on loan was due to a lack of opportunities.
The Chilean moved to Italy on a 10-month loan deal last week with United still paying a large chunk of his reported £400,000 ($484,000) a week wages.
Sanchez failed to live up to the expectations United had when signing him from Arsenal on a four-and-a-half year contract in January 2018, scoring just five times in 45 appearances for United.
However, he started just 31 of 77 games the Red Devils played during his time there and played the full 90 minutes on just 13 occasions.
“I’ve always said to my friends: I want to play,” Sanchez told the BBC.
“If they would let me play I’ll do my best. Sometimes I’d play 60 minutes then I wouldn’t play the next game — and I didn’t know why.”
Sanchez was signed with United second in the Premier League and aiming to close the gap on local rivals Manchester City, who were also interested in reuniting Sanchez with his former boss at Barcelona Pep Guardiola.
Instead, in his first full season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho was sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United finished sixth and as close to the relegation zone on points as they were to champions City.
But despite winning no trophies, Sanchez has no regrets over joining United rather than City.
“I’m very happy I went to Manchester United. I’ve always said that. It’s the club that’s won the most in England,” added Sanchez.
“When I went to Arsenal it was fantastic — I was happy there — but United were growing at the time, they were buying players to win something.
“I wanted to join them and win everything. I don’t regret going there.”
Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez arrived in Milan on Wednesday ahead of a reported one-year loan move to Inter, according to multiple reports.
The 30-year-old was photographed waving to fans at the airport and was whisked away for a medical before signing a contract later in the day, Sky Sports Italia and Gazzetta Dello Sport reported.
Sanchez will link up with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku — a 65-million-euro ($73 million) close-season signing from Manchester United — who scored on his debut for Inter on Monday.
Sanchez joined United from Arsenal in January 2018 but has scored just three Premier League goals in 32 appearances.
Antonio Conte’s reign as Inter coach got off to a perfect start with a 4-0 win over promoted Lecce on Monday.
Inter last won Serie A in 2010 under Jose Mourinho, and have been remodelled by former Italy and Chelsea boss Conte, who replaced Luciano Spalletti after the Chinese-owned club finish fourth last season.
Alexis Sanchez’s miserable spell at Manchester United took another turn for the worse on Friday with manager Jose Mourinho announcing he faces several weeks out with a hamstring injury.
The 29-year-old Chilean forward dropped from the squad for Tuesday’s 1-0 Champions League win over Swiss outfit Young Boys, suffered the injury in training on Thursday.
“It is an aggressive muscular injury,” Mourinho said at Friday’s press conference.
“He has not had a scan yet but the player is experienced. He knows what injury is.
“From my experience, the painful scream and way it happened, it will be a long time.
“It is not a little muscular injury that he will be ready in a week or 10 days.
“For me and Alexis Sanchez, the grade is different to the one that Lindelof (expected to miss three weeks due to a thigh strain suffered against Crystal Palace last weekend) has and that was not easy.”
Sanchez’s first team starts have been rare in November, and he came on as a substitute in the league games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace. He last started in the victory at Juventus in the Champions League on November 7.
Alexis Sanchez has endured a torrid start to his Manchester United career but hinted at better things to come with an impressive display in a central role ahead of the Champions League match against Juventus.
The injured Romelu Lukaku missed the 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday and Marcus Rashford started on the bench as Jose Mourinho opted for a three-man forward line, with Anthony Martial and Juan Mata deployed either side of Sanchez.
The former Arsenal man was instrumental in United’s first-half equaliser, setting up Martial, and will be disappointed to have been substituted towards the end of the game.
The match, won by substitute Rashford in injury time, was a rare high point for the Chile international, who has struggled to find his feet since arriving at Old Trafford in January — it was his first league start since September 22.
Following the much-needed win against Bournemouth, Mourinho praised Sanchez and spelt out his preferred system, saying he did not need a traditional centre-forward to lead his attack.
“The way I like to play is with three attacking players where there is not a clear definition of the winger as a winger,” he said, adding that he likes wide men with a striker’s appetite.
“And I always had that in my team, with the wingers scoring a lot of goals, sometimes even more goals than the striker,” he said.
“So it’s not impossible at all to have in the same team at the same time Rashford, Lukaku, Alexis for example. But today Romelu was not available and we thought that Alexis could do what he did.
“What he did, he had a good assist, he had some mobility, he created some problems but then in the second half I knew that by having the two brothers on the bench, Rashford and (Jesse) Lingard, I knew that the brothers could come in and also make an impact.”
– Ronaldo challenge –
United now travel to Juventus for another date with former favourite son Cristiano Ronaldo, two weeks after they were outplayed during a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford that left them five points adrift of the Italian champions in Group H.
Despite Mourinho’s stated preference for a multi-dimensional attack, keeping Lukaku out of the starting line-up will be tricky, with the manager proving loyal to his muscular frontman.
The Belgium international, who has not found the net for the club since mid-September, is not the only United forward who has gone off the boil, with Rashford also struggling despite his goal at the weekend.
Martial’s goals have been papering over the cracks during United’s recent mini-recovery, with the Frenchman earning the manager’s trust at last.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Rashford should be given a run in the starting line-up, even though he said it is not clear what his best position is yet.
“You look at Lukaku. Lukaku’s goalscoring record is up there, it’s fantastic, he scores goals,” added the TV pundit. “But in the best teams you need more than that.
“You need to be able to bring other people into play, you need to be able to complement other players in your team, things have to be set up off you.
“At the moment, I see in a Man Utd shirt that some things break down in Lukaku. And that affects other players in the team, like (Paul) Pogba and Lingard, who want to play off people.”
Manchester United believed they were closing the gap on “noisy neighbours” Manchester City when they beat the Premier League champions to the signature of Alexis Sanchez just nine months ago.
But as the Red Devils slumped to a third defeat just seven games into the new league season at West Ham on Saturday to already fall nine points adrift of City, Sanchez was nowhere to be seen.
That the Chilean was deemed not good enough to make Jose Mourinho’s 18-man squad for such a shambolic display at the London Stadium speaks volumes for Sanchez’s slide since joining United in January.
Prolific in four years at Arsenal and three seasons with Barcelona before then, Sanchez has scored just three times in 23 appearances under Mourinho — none of which have come this season.
Mourinho’s power battle with £89 million ($116 million) midfielder Paul Pogba has drawn the spotlight from Sanchez. But Mourinho’s patience with the other marquee signing of his time in charge at Old Trafford ran out this week.
Sanchez was hauled off during a 1-1 draw with Wolves last weekend.
He was then reportedly admonished by Mourinho in front of his teammates for his poor form and was the only outfield player who travelled to London for the West Ham debacle left out of the matchday squad.
“Look for how many months are people asking for (Anthony) Martial, Martial, Martial and saying how Alexis isn’t playing well enough,” said Mourinho justifying his decision. “This week it was time to agree and leave Alexis out.”
Sanchez wouldn’t be the first creative player Mourinho has failed to get the best out of. United’s fiercest rivals City and Liverpool have benefited from Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne being discarded by the Portuguese during his time at Chelsea.
When imploring Mourinho to attack more after being held by Wolves, Pogba defended Sanchez’s struggles to adapt from the more open football played at Barca and Arsenal.
“When you play a long time with another team and you play different football in that other team you have some kind of adaptation that you have to have,” said the Frenchman.
Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford may be running out, particularly if he fails to summon a response when United host Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.
However, the difference in the fanfare that greeted Sanchez’s signing and his production on the pitch is emblematic of the waste that is leaving United trailing in City’s wake.
Courted by his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, United boasted of dealing a blow to City in the transfer market and of generating more social media traffic than Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Yet, that victory has proved a hollow and expensive one.
United’s accounts last week revealed an 11 percent rise in their wage bill taking it to £295.9 million, £36 million more than City’s.
Much of that went on handing Sanchez reportedly the most lucrative contract in Premier League history worth a reported £400,000 a week plus bonuses.
United remain the world’s richest club for now, but that is not being reflected on the field for frustrated fans more interested in points than profits.
The club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has put his faith in Mourinho, but his trust runs out quickly when missing out on the riches of Champions League.
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were both dismissed after failing to qualify and United are already five points off the top four.
Another route into the Champions League is by winning the competition.
United currently look far from contenders, but they can take a huge step towards the last 16 by moving six points clear of Valencia in Group H on Tuesday.
It is the type of game Sanchez was signed for. Whether he even starts will say much about his future so long as Mourinho remains in charge.
Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has been left out of Chile’s squad for September friendlies away to Japan and South Korea because “his club needs him”, coach Reinaldo Rueda revealed on Thursday.
United have had their worst start to a Premier League season since the inaugural edition in 1992/93 following back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Tottenham.
Chile face a pair of long-distance friendlies against Asian powerhouses on almost exactly the opposite side of the world.
Rueda said such a trip would be “exhausting” and that United “need him in a difficult moment” despite Chile’s matches in Sapporo on September 7 and Seoul four days later.
United’s 3-0 defeat at home to Spurs on Monday heaped the pressure on increasingly disgruntled manager Jose Mourinho and followed an abject performance in a 3-2 defeat on the south coast a week earlier.
It was the worst home defeat of Mourinho’s career as a coach.
Sanchez, 29, is his country’s record goalscorer (39 goals) and most capped player (121 appearances) and is known as “The Wonder Kid” back home.
He helped Chile win back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, both times beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina on penalties in the final.
While Sanchez sits out the arduous trips to the Far East, Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal will lead the team.
But Rueda has left out two star players — midfielder Jorge Valdivia and forward Esteban Paredes — from Chilean giants Colo-Colo as they have reached the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals for the first time in 24 years.
“It’s not up to me to think about what’s best for a club side, I’m interested in my team,” said Colombian Rueda.
“But I know how exhausting the Copa Libertadores can be and this time I prefer those Colo-Colo players to concentrate on that.”