It may just be the signing that will cement second place in the Premier League (if not push City all the way for the title), potentially earn silverware in the FA Cup and challenge for Champions League glory in Europe, however, although a bargain of a transfer price, Alexis Sánchez’s move may prove costly for United in the future.
The £30 million transfer fee for a player of Sánchez’s quality in today’s market is an absolute steal and a shrewd bit of business from Mourinho, Ed Woodward and all those involved to pip the signature of the Chilean away from neighbors Manchester City. It is undeniable that he may prove to be the catalyst for United’s season that at times, has lacked a creative link-up between midfield and Lukaku up-top.
However, the Sánchez deal has come at a price. A hefty wage bill. A reported £450,000 a week, that may move up to £500,000 with bonuses and appearances, may have a deteriorating factor on future business that United may conduct in the transfer market.
Media talks. Agents talk. Players talk. In a game that is constantly increasing towards player power over club control, Sánchez’s contract demands, and the willingness of United’s board to accept the demands, has a larger impact than just results on the field.
According to TOTALSPORTEK, Paul Pogba is Manchester United’s highest paid player, pulling in a weekly wage of £290,000. Other players, such as David De Gea and Romelu Lukaku all join the £200K club, but Sánchez is set to eclipse their wages in a dramatic way.
The importance of this is player demands, it is reported that Paul Pogba has already demanded an increase of double his wages to match the kind of salary Sánchez is being paid. United are trying to retain the best goalkeeper in the world in David De Gea, who may also want an increase if he is to stay at Old Trafford. Of course this news is all unconfirmed, but the roll on effect could potentially be massive to current players as well as players being bought in the future.
Sánchez staggering income will amount to a reported £14 million a year after tax. Considering he is set to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal, well… you do the math.
Former Manchester United assistant manager and former England manager Steve McClaren commented on the possible difficulties that Sánchez’s contract may cause United in the future.
“Wage parity is very important to players. Yes, they find out - at all levels - and if someone is paid a lot higher than others that can cause a problem.” He told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.
That being said, Manchester United are one, if not THE richest team in the world and the current market prices for players of this level is ridiculous. So in a sense, United may just be setting a trend which will become the normality shortly.
This article is not hammering the choice of United’s investment in a player that is world-class; if he had not come to United, City, Liverpool and a whole host of other teams would’ve been vying for his signature. He will no doubt have an amazing impact on the team and help build a side that should be aiming for Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles on a consistent basis. However, the domino effect of his wage has the potential to cause contract disagreements in the not so distant future with other players.
The benchmark is set.