Alexis Sanchez is very close to being unveiled as Manchester United's first January signing after the Chilean agreed terms with the Red Devils over a four and a half year deal said to be worth around £180m ($248.5m) including wages and agents fees.

The Arsenal forward's deal is only being held up due to Henrikh Mkhitaryan's move in the other direction yet to be ratified.

The Gunners are said to be happy to sanction a player plus cash deal but will have to meet the Armenian's demands in order to push the move ahead. Mkhitaryan is also said to be open to the move to the Emirates Stadium after having accepted that he has no future under Jose Mourinho, but wants to become the highest paid Arsenal player, which is proving to be a stumbling block.

Sanchez's last appearance for Arsenal is likely to be the 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the semi-final first leg of the Carabao Cup. He was dropped for the Gunners' loss against Bournemouth on Sunday (14 January), and with him having agreed to join United, he is unlikely to feature again this weekend.

According to The Telegraph, the Chilean has agreed to a four and a half year deal, which will see him earn £14m-a-year after tax or £27m before tax, while the 20-times English champions will pay Arsenal £30, the striker a further £20m as a signing-on fee and Sanchez's agent is set to pocket around £10m bringing the total deal close to a staggering £180m.

The report claims that the money on offer from United was the reason the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea backed out of the deal as they were not willing to set aside the same amount for a player in the final six months of his contract.

Sanchez's move to Old Trafford, however, continues to hinge on Mkhitaryan's acceptance to move in the other direction with the Armenian's agent Mino Raiola stating on Tuesday that a deal is some way off. The United midfielder wants an upgrade on his current £150,000-a-week that he earns.

Arsene Wenger confirmed that Arsenal will enter the market if Sanchez leaves in January and it looks like the Gunners have made their move with reports suggesting that Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux's Malcom on top of their priority list for the replacement of the Chilean and Theo Walcott, who left the club to join Everton on Wednesday (17 January).

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez is close to becoming Manchester United's first January signing Getty