Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that one of the key factors leading to Alexis Sanchez's departure from Arsenal was frustration over a lack of Champions League football after the Gunners could only finish 5th in the Premier League last season.
United themselves finished 6th in the league, but won the Europa League to ensure passage to the Champions League this season and Sanchez's ambition to perform on the biggest stage of all seemingly influenced his decision to force a transfer out of the Emirates Stadium.
"It is true that we have a new player, Alexis Sanchez, and we could have waited for the transfer market in the summer but we decided to go now in the transfer market," Mourinho is quoted as saying by Goal.com ahead of the Chilean's European debut for his new club.
"We felt we needed him. Manchester United in the Champions League is quite a big thing, Alexis came with all his efforts to play on the Champions League stage," the boss added.
"We know it has been hard for me as a coach to motivate my players for a competition we didn't want to play [the Europa League]. But because we won it we got to qualify for the Champions League so motivation is always there - we always want to play against the best teams.
"So Alexis wanted to come to a team to play in the Champions League."
United face Sevilla in the first leg of their Last 16 tie in the electric Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Wednesday night, looking to get an early advantage ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford next month.
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