Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he wasn't part of swap deal for Alexis Sanchez when he left Manchester United

The pair traded places in January following some tough negotiations between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

Sanchez made it clear he would not be renewing his Arsenal contract, which would have made him a free agent this summer.

Manchester City were believed to be leading the race to sign him for nothing but were stumped when rivals United hijacked the deal with a reported player-swap offer.

It meant Arsenal were able to get a like-for-like replacement in Mkhitaryan, who had spent most of the season on the bench.

The players have been hits at their new clubs, leading some to wonder why clubs don’t exchange players instead of cash more often.

But Mkhitaryan has blasted talk that he only secured a move away from Old Trafford because United wanted Sanchez, adding that he would have wound up at Arsenal one way or another.

The Armenian told FourFourTwo: “I didn’t come here to replace anyone. Everyone keeps saying I’ve been part of a deal for Sanchez but it’s not true because he was running down his contract.

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“If he didn’t choose to come to Man United, he would have stayed at Arsenal until the summer.

“Everything was up to me. I’m not saying I was important in this aspect but I want everyone to understand I wasn’t made part of the deal for Sanchez.

“We’re different players, we’re different characters, we have different abilities and skills.

“When I heard I could swap United for Arsenal, I said: ‘Yes, I want to do that’.

“I wasn’t even thinking twice or thinking that maybe I don’t have to go.

“I said: ‘No, I want to go. I want to have more playing time. I want to enjoy playing attacking football’. I made the right decision coming here.”

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