English Premier League

Alexis Sanchez says ‘The Sun’s’ story he bet Marcos Rojo £20,000 that Jose Mourinho would be sacked is ‘false!’

  • British newspaper claims forward told Marcos Rojo ‘you owe me £20k’
  • Sanchez reportedly said ‘I told you so! Patience is all it takes’ in players’ WhatsApp group
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 December, 2018, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 December, 2018, 10:51pm

Alexis Sanchez has angrily denied a story in British newspaper The Sun which claimed he bet a Manchester United teammate £20,000 (US$25,315) that Jose Mourinho would be sacked.

The story, by journalists Neil Custis and Richard Moriarty, said Sanchez messaged the United players’ WhatsApp group “revelling in Mourinho’s demise”.

“‘I told you so!! Patience is all it takes. Rojo you owe me £20k’,” Sanchez is claimed to have said to Argentine centre back Marcos Rojo, after the Portuguese boss was sacked on Tuesday morning.

But Chilean forward Sanchez posted a tweet saying The Sun’s story was “FALSE!!!”

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“Jose gave me the chance to play for the best team in the world and I only have gratitude for him,” Sanchez wrote. “We are a truly United team.

“We are MANCHESTER UNITED. Respect. I can’t wait to help the team! Good luck tomorrow family!”

Sanchez has not travelled to Cardiff with the United squad – the first picked by caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – for Saturday’s Premier League clash as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury in Chile, where he celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week with family and friends.

He had fallen out of favour under Mourinho, having failed to live up to his star billing since signing from Arsenal on a £505,000-a-week deal in January.

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Sanchez has scored just three goals in 22 appearances after snubbing a move to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who went on to win the Premier League title last season.

“Believe what you wish on Sanchez, the story is right,” Custis tweeted. “He gives himself away by saying he has gratitude for Mourinho when he actually behaved appallingly towards him.

“Sanchez … kept moaning to teammates about how much better things could have been at [Manchester] City.

“Mourinho constantly tried to defend Sanchez when he was playing like a drain and then criticising the manager for his tactics in front of others. Let’s not all be naive.”

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Mourinho signed a contract extension until 2020 in January, but his two-and-a-half year reign came to an abrupt end with United languishing in sixth place in the Premier League table, 22 points off leaders Liverpool.

His exit was reportedly met with joy by some United players, with another story by Custis and Moriarty earlier this week claiming Paul Pogba shouted “he f***** with the wrong baller”.

The Sun claimed the French midfielder, who fell out with Mourinho, celebrated in the changing room at United’s Carrington training complex on Tuesday morning.

“He thought he could make a fool of me and turn the fans against me,” Pogba is reported to have said.

A picture was posted on Pogba’s Instagram account minutes after Mourinho’s sacking, featuring the French World Cup-winning midfielder smirking with the words “caption this”.

The message was soon deleted with his team claiming it had been a scheduled social media post as part of an advertising campaign, and not a dig at Mourinho.

Former United captain Gary Neville scolded Pogba on Twitter over the incident, saying, “’Caption this.’ You do one as well!” and then later describing it on television as “garbage”.