Italian club held negotiations with €35m-rated Man United forward

Roma have held negotiations with the Red Devils about the prospect of taking Alexis Sanchez on loan next campaign, as Norwegian coach signalled his faith in Anthony Martial as a centre-forward by handing the France international the No 9 shirt for this campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expressed confidence on Friday that Man United will not struggle for goals, amid the departure of Romelu Lukaku for Inter Milan, but Chile international’s role in the front-line stays uncertain with only over three weeks until the close of the Italian, Spanish, German and French transfer windows on September 2.

Norwegian tactician said that he expects Alexis to remain with the Red Devils this campaign, but the Giallorossi are thought to have been given a chance to take the forward on a season-long loan.

It is unclear if Sanchez would be open to the move, but any loan arrangement, while far from certain, would likely involve Man United having to subsidise a substantial part of the winger’s £391,000-a-week wages, which increase to around £500,000 a week with bonuses.

The 30-year-old star came back to Man United only last week after an extended holiday following his involvement with Chile in the Copa America, and he could be omitted from the squad to face Chelsea at Old Trafford. Alexis has played only 65 minutes in pre-season for the Red Devils in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Blackburn Rovers.

There was initially no mention of Chilean forward as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ran through his attack options on Friday in the wake of Romelu Lukaku’s £74m move to Inter Milan before the subject of Sanchez was raised by reporters.