In January, Jose Mourinho had assured Manchester United fans that they would see the best of Alexis Sanchez next season, but that promise is now in danger of being unfulfilled as the Chilean has been unable to travel to with the rest of his teammates for the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
Due to a suspended prison sentence for tax fraud, the 29-year-old has not been issued a US visa and is training on his own at Carrington while the rest of the squad jetted off across the Atlantic.
Considering United will spend almost their entire pre-season stateside, that does not bode well for Sanchez.
The Red Devils have five friendlies planned in the United States, taking on a host of big names including Real Madrid, Liverpool and AC Milan.
Their sole pre-season fixture that does not take place in the US is their August 5 clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
“It’s really bad and he’s (Sanchez) really sad,” Mourinho told a press conference at the UCLA campus on Wednesday.
Sanchez, the highest earner in the Premier League, didn’t quite live up to his billing after arriving in January as he struggled to combine with his teammates in the closing stages of the 2017/18 season.
“It’s not good for him and not good for me, or for the team. There is no-one to blame.”
Potentially, United risk having an ‘unfit’ Sanchez at the start of the season.
For while he will be undergoing a gruelling programme at Carrington, the fact that he will not have any minutes under his belt could mean that he will be lacking match sharpness.
Seven of United’s players made deep runs at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Mourinho has already declared that they will not be ready in time for the start of the Premier League season.
“I know the club is making the effort but the US authorities have their processes. Hopefully, he can at least join us later because it is important to work with Juan Mata, Alexis and Anthony Martial, who we think are the players we have for the start of the season. There is no (Romelu) Lukaku, (Marcus) Rashford or (Jesse) Lingard.”
United open the 2017/18 Premier League season when they host Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 10.