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Breaking Down Alexis Sanchez’s Move to Manchester United

For better or worse, Sanchez's contract with Manchester United places him near the top of football world's highest earners.


What: Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal for Manchester United instead of Manchester City.
Why it matters: For better or worse, Sanchez’s contract with Manchester United places him near the top of football world’s highest earners.

Sanchez Chooses United


After months of speculation that go back to the start of the summer transfer window Chile international, Alexis Sanchez, has finally left Arsenal Football Club. But not for Manchester City, the club who once valued him at £60 million during summer negotiations.  Instead Sanchez signed a mega deal with City’s rivals Manchester United. Sanchez to City was all anyone could talk about in summer. It wasn’t a question of ‘was it going to happen?’ Rather it was one of ‘when was it going to happen?’ And when it didn’t happen in the summer, it was assumed City would just go back in for their man in the winter. They did, this time valuing the Chilean at £20 million due to the time left on his current contract and unwillingness to be an Arsenal player. United also valued Sanchez at £20 million. So why the Red Devils over the Citizens? Simply put, United’s £20 million meant a whole lot more than City’s.


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What One Sanchez Costs


The details of Sanchez’s contract are staggering to say the least: The Chilean forward will earn a £350,000-a-week wage plus an extra £100,000 a week for image rights over the course of a four-and-a-half-year contract.  He will also receive £7.5 million a year for four years as a signing-on fee. In addition to paying £20 million for Sanchez, United also gave the unwanted Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal. Lastly, United paid £15 million to Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich.


Sanchez’s contract makes him the highest paid player in the English Premier League. His wages soar high above United legend Wayne Rooney, who was on £300,000 pounds before he returned back to boyhood club Everton this past summer. Unprecedented in the Premier League, Sanchez’s wages are similar to the salaries of players in Spain’s La Liga, or the Chinese Super League. The next highest paid player in the EPL is United’s Paul Pogba who is on £290,000 a week. Sanchez will be making more than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.


The Possible Impact of This Move


While the contract is fantastic for Sanchez, especially at his age, it could be a little unsettling for his new teammates and other players in the league. Sanchez had his best season in the league last year scoring 24 goals for Arsenal. Yet we are halfway through this season, and he has only netted seven times. His wages are bound to have a ripple effect on players who feel they are performing as well or better than Sanchez. City’s manager, Pep Guardiola stated City pulled out of the deal in order to preserve the “stability of the club.”


Sanchez has firmly held that his decision to go to United was not one motivated by money, but an attempt to make a dream come true. There is no question that he will have that opportunity. However, can he do it under the massive amount of pressure his new contract has put on him?


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