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Manchester United will pay Alexis Sánchez HOW MUCH?!

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According to reports, United have agreed a contract with Alexis Sánchez ... and it’s a big one.

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Smelling salts at the ready, team? Good. According to the Daily Telegraph, Manchester United and Alexis Sánchez have reached an agreement on the wages that the Chilean will collect if he moves to Old Trafford this January. Apparently he’ll be getting £14m. A year. After tax.

... there, there. Come on. Up you get. Have a seat ... yes, there. You okay? Yes, it is a lot of money. Yes, after tax ... oh, you’ve gone again.

£14m after tax is roughly £500k a week before; or, to put it another way, lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money. This will also be, so the story says, a four-and-ahalf year contract, meaning that Sánchez will be at the club, and at these wages, until he’s 33. Obviously, these aren’t official figures; we may never get those. But still. It’s a lot.

It also seems to contradict the piece itself, which later notes that “Sanchez’s lucrative contract means United’s deal to sign the forward is worth over £60m”. Excuse the back-of-an-envelope maths here, but: £500k a week is about £26m a year. Times that by four and a half and you get £117m. And that’s before we consider the “£30m value, agents’ fee, worth more than £10m, and signing on fee”. True, £160m is technically “over £60m”. But you’d think the spare £100m would be worth mentioning. Maybe they dropped a “1” somewhere along the line.

Anyway, whatever the truth of it, we should remember that since the Glazer takeover United have shovelled untold millions into interest and dividend payments, money that has left the club — and left football — in exchange for nothing more than the privilege of their continual ownership. And since these seem to be the only two places that United’s money is permitted to go, we’ll take footballers who are good and fun over the distant bank accounts of the distant owners.