Alexis Sanchez’s future is still very much up in the air as Inter Milan and his parent club Manchester United attempt to reach an agreement over the player.
The 31-year-old has spent the season on loan with the Serie A club and has endured a mixed spell, on one hand showing flashes of the brilliance he displayed on a regular basis during his time with Barcelona and Arsenal but on the other also continuing to struggle with injury problems.
He is currently due to remain with Inter until the end of the Serie A season, which finishes on August 2, but Inter are due to conclude their Europa League campaign in a mini-tournament which will take place in Germany between August 10-21 if they see off Getafe in their last-16 tie.
They are keen to keep Sanchez for the tournament and potentially even on a permanent basis, but according to The Athletic matters are complicated by a FIFA loophole.
Rules state that the preference is for loan players to finish a campaign with the team they started it with, but this is only in relation to domestic seasons, meaning United technically have the right to recall Sanchez as soon as Serie A finishes.
However, Inter are confident that they will be able to convince United to let him stay for longer for a number of reasons.
For one, it is no secret that United are desperate to get the player off their wage bill, and see Inter as a potential buyer.
The relationship between the two clubs – which is currently good due to the amount of successful deals they have completed together in recent times – could be soured if the Red Devils do not allow Sanchez to play in the Europa League, and thus it would surely be within United’s interests to let him stay longer.
It may also give them an opportunity to see what level Sanchez is operating at at a high level, so they can decide whether they give him one more chance to impress at Old Trafford.
There is also no telling whether Sanchez would be able to agree terms on a permanent move given his astronomical wages at United, and he would almost certainly have to take a significant pay cut.
One thing is for sure – no one yet knows exactly how his future will play out. It is up to Sanchez to try to build on his recent promising showings to prove he still has what it takes.