Jose Mourinho's South American scout Jorge Alvial has revealed that the Manchester United manager has been chasing the Chilean since 2006 when the Portuguese was at Chelsea during his first spell in the Premier League.
The scout had recommended Sanchez to Mourinho again in 2013 during his second spell at Chelsea, but the Chilean was already at Barcelona and decided to continue his spell with the Catalans before moving to Arsenal the year after. Mourinho finally had his way in 2018 after the 29-year-old made his way to United in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan coming the other way.
The former Udinese man has agreed a bumper four-and-a-half year deal reported to be worth at least £400,000 ($563,468) per week that allowed the Red Devils to blow out favourites and neighbouring rivals Manchester City out of the reckoning. Sanchez began his journey with new teammates in training for the first time on Tuesday and is in line to make his debut against Yeovil in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.
Alvial revealed that the swoop was not a spur of the moment thing and that Mourinho has been pursuing the player for over ten years.
"In 2013 during Jose's second spell at Chelsea, there was a lot of interest. It was between Chelsea and Barcelona, but he chose the Catalans for understandable reasons.
"[Mourinho] always liked him. What he admires the most about him is his leadership on the pitch, furthermore he is a player who can change a game in any moment owing to the great talent that he has."
Sanchez came close to joining the Premier League leaders on deadline day of the summer transfer window. However, Arsenal's failure to sign AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar as his replacement resulted in the former Barcelona forward continue at the Emirates until January.
However, having now made his way to Old Trafford, Sanchez clarified his stance and stated in an interview that it has been his childhood dream to play for United and he had even spoken to Sir Alex Ferguson about it.
"Since I was a young lad I've always said that my dream was to play for Manchester United, and I'm not just saying that because I'm here now and today it's come true. I always said as a kid that I'd like to play for United and I once spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson about it. We chatted for around 20 minutes. And I told him that my dream was to come here to Manchester United," Sanchez told United's official website.
"It really is a massive club, very powerful, and so now, when I got the opportunity to come here, I looked at the badge and my hairs just stood up on end because it's a powerful club and the biggest in England."