Alexis Sanchez ThisClose to Being Revealed as a Manchester United Player

It looks like Alexis Sanchez is preparing for a big reveal…

The 29-year-old Chilean soccer player is reportedly about to be unveiled as a Manchester United player after passing a medical, according to ESPN FC.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez was at the club’s Carrington training headquarters on Sunday to tie up the final details of his move from Arsenal.

He’s set to be announced as United’s latest signing — with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading to the Emirates — in the next 48 hours.

After flying to Manchester on a private jet and visiting Carrington, Sanchez was also at Old Trafford on Sunday to film segments for his unveiling while wearing United’s No. 7 shirt.

And pictures have leaked on Twitter of the player in his new kit, the images taken by someone watching on from the stands.

He’s expected to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal with Man United, while both Mkhitaryan and Sanchez will need new work permits before the deal can be completed.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the agreement between United and Arsenal is a straight swap with no additional fee involved.

According to sources close to the deal, it has been especially complicated because talks with Sanchez and Mkhitaryan have had to run simultaneously.

Jose Mourinho has given his players two days off following their 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. Mourinho said after the game that the move is “so close.”

Sanchez is in line to train with his new teammates on Tuesday before a debut against Yeovil in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.

Pereira to Spend Next Season with La Liga’s Granada

Andreas Pereira is heading to España…

The 20-year-old Brazilian footballer and Manchester United midfield prospect is set for a loan switch to Granada Club de Fútbol in La Liga after the two clubs agreed on a season-long transfer.

Andreas Pereira

Pereira, a Brazil Under-23 international, will spend the campaign in Spain with Paco Jemez‘s side and should gain the first-team experience required in one of Europe’s top divisions.

After making 13 appearances during Louis van Gaal‘s time in charge, the Pereira scored in Jose Mourinho‘s opening pre-season friendly at Wigan Athletic with a superb drive.

“I love Andreas Pereira as a player and I would love to have him in my squad,” said Mourinho at Friday’s press conference. “But he will go to Granada.”

Granada already have a number of players currently on loan, including Jeremie Bogie and Victorien Angban from Chelsea and Arsenal‘s Jon Toral.

Messi Remains the World’s Highest-Paid Soccer Player

Lionel Messi could be called Mr. Money Bags…

The 28-year-old Argentine soccer star, a forward for Barcelona, is still the world’s highest-paid soccer player, according to a report to be published in Tuesday’s edition of France Football magazine.

Lionel Messi

Messi’s income stands at $84.3 million, according to the report.

His earnings in 2015 went up by $10.2 million compared to 2014, to surpass Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo at $76.9 million and Barcelona’s Neymar, who came third with $49.6 million.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel di Maria of Argentina was the top-earning player in France with $27.3 million, according to the report.

The report explained that the estimates took into account “players’ pre-tax salaries, sponsorship revenues and various bonuses.”

The report added that Jose Mourinho is still the highest-paid coach with $27.3 million, although he was fired from Chelsea last December.

Willian Agrees to Five-Year Deal with Chelsea

Willian Borges da Silva’s move could be called a case of “From Russia with Love”…

The 25-year-old Brazilian soccer star, commonly known as Willian, has signed a five-year contract with Chelsea.

Willian

“I’m very happy to be here, it’s been a dream of mine to come and play here,” the Blues’ latest addition said in comments posted on Chelsea’s official Web site.

The attacking midfielder was picked up from Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala for 32 million pounds ($49.6 million).

The Chelsea faithful got a good look at Willian in 2012, when he scored two goals for visiting Shakhtar Donetsk in a Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge.

Shakhtar sent Willian to Anzhi Makhachkala in January for a transfer fee of 35 million euros ($47 million).

Tottenham Hotspur brought Willian to London earlier this week for a medical ahead of Spurs’ expected signing of the star, but Chelsea snatched the midfielder away from their Premier League rivals.

Willian is Chelsea’s fourth acquisition during the summer transfer window, which closes September 2, and Blues manager Jose Mourinho signaled last week that the club was still in the market for new talent.

On Tuesday, Mourinho gave Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney 48 hours to decide if he wants to leave Old Trafford from Stamford Bridge.

Messi Wins Record Fourth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi is officially in a league of his own…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol has become the first four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year award, after breaking the world record for most goals in a year with 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina.

Lionel Messi

Messi won for the fourth straight time, beating Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow Futbol Club Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta in voting announced Monday. His 91 goals topped Gerd Mueller‘s mark of 85 for Bayern Munich and Germany back in 1972.

Messi received 41.60 percent of the points in votes by national team coaches and captains plus selected media. Ronaldo got 23.68 percent and Iniesta 10.91 percent.

“To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous,” Messi said in Spanish, wearing a black tuxedo jacket and bow tie, both with a white polka-dot pattern in an unexpectedly flamboyant touch.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and captain Carlos Bocanegra both voted Messi first, as did Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy.

Zinedine Zidane of France and Ronaldo of Brazil were voted FIFA Player of the Year three times before the award merged in 2010 with France Football’s Golden Ball, given to the European player of the year. The Golden Ball, or Ballon d’Or, was won three times by Michel Platini of France and Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten of the Netherlands.

Vicente del Bosque was voted top men’s coach after leading Spain to its third straight title in a major tournament, the 2012 European Championship. Del Bosque got 34.51 percent to win over Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho (20.49), who won last year, and Pep Guardiola (12.91) who won in 2011 and retired from Barcelona last spring.

The three men’s Player of the Year candidates were on the World XI All-Star team chosen by the FIFPro group of players’ unions, comprising 50,000 members worldwide.

They selected a team composed entirely of players from Spanish clubs, with nine repeating their selection from one year ago.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was selected as goalkeeper, joined on defense by teammates Sergio Ramos and Marcelo and by Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Iniesta was joined in midfield by Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso. Messi led the attack with Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid‘s Radamel Falcao. Marcelo and Falcao replaced Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney from the 2011 team.

Messi Gunning for History-Making Fourth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi is one step closer to making serious soccer history this January…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star has been named as a finalist for the 2012 Ballon d’Or, which honors the world’s best soccer player.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who claimed his second Golden Boot in October for being the top scorer in the European national leagues, will compete against Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain’s Andres Iniesta for the honor, FIFA and France Football announced  Thursday.

Messi has won the award for the last three years, while Ronaldo took the prize in 2008. First-time finalist Iniesta was the MVP of the 2012 European Championship. Should Messi earn his fourth consecutive award, he’d become the only player to win the award four times.

Iniesta and Messi are teammates at Futbol Club Barcelona, while Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid.

“We’re not at the level of the Oscars, but we’re not very far from that ceremony either,” Blatter said.

Nominated for Coach of the Year are Vicente Del Bosque of the Spanish national squad, Pep Guardiola – late of Barcelona – and Jose Mourinho, manager of Real Madrid.

Brazil’s Marta and two members of the U.S. team, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, will compete for the title of Women’s Player of the Year. The contenders for Coach of the Year in women’s soccer are Bruno Bini of France, Norio Sasaki of Japan and Sweden’s Pia Sundhage.

The Puskas trophy for goal of the year will go to either Colombian Radamel Falcao Garcia, Brazil’s Neymar or Slovak Miroslav Stoch.

The names of all the winners will be revealed at a January 7 gala in Switzerland.