Former Udinese sporting director Fabrizio Larini has revealed how the club came to find Alexis Sanchez all the way back in 2006.
“He arrived thanks to our scouts out in Chile who brought him up to Pozzo. He was sent out on loan and then played consistently for us.
“Alexis was fast, technical and tough. He had above average qualities and he showed them to all of Italy. What a partnership he formed with Di Natale! With them we qualified for the Champions League,” he explained in an interview with Italian news outlet FCInterNews.it.
Next Larini revealed that Inter had shown an interest in signing Sanchez from them but baulked at their asking price for him.
“We met Inter in January of that year. We were willing to close the deal immediately. Alexis would have stayed with us until June and then he would have moved to the Nerazzurri.
“There was a meeting between me, Gino Pozzo, Piero Ausilio and Marco Branca but the Nerazzurri directors judged our evaluation of the player to be too high.
“They took time to consider things and then nothing came of it. A few months passed and he signed for Barcelona for a much higher price than what we demanded from Inter. We sold Sanchez to the Blaugrana for €40 million plus add-ons but we asked Inter for about €25 million.”
Larini proceeded to reveal that Sanchez was also subject to interest from Juventus, who were then managed by current Inter manager Antonio Conte.
“Juventus also asked us about him. In May the bianconeri, I guess on the advice of Antonio Conte who was then the coach of the Old Lady, inquired about him. Negotiations did not take place with them for economic reasons but today I am not surprised that Sanchez plays for Inter, under the orders of Antonio Conte.”
Next Larini spoke on what he makes of modern day Sanchez, who recently completed a permanent move to Inter on a three year contract.
“He has gained more experience over the years. He is a guy who is exceptional in terms of work ethic. After training, he would stay to practice in the gym. He is an exemplary professional, he stayed an hour or more at the training centre than his teammates.”
He was then asked where he would place Sanchez in the list of players he worked with during his career.
“At Parma I was lucky enough to have Buffon, Thuram, Cannavaro, Crespo and Veron. I can say that Sanchez was among the most imaginative but I can’t say he was the strongest because as I told you I was lucky enough to work with other top international players.”
In conclusion Larini spoke about Sanchez’s recent injury which he sustained in the Europa League quarter final win over Bayer Leverkusen on Monday night.
“Sanchez got injured precisely because he gives everything, he not only attacks but also helps out defensively. When he came on against Leverkusen he wanted to give his soul. He hurt himself but he is not someone who spares himself. I hope he can be back in time for th efinal, even if it won’t be that easy.”
This season Sanchez has made 31 appearances across all competitions to date, in which he has scored four goals and provided 10 assists.