Should Alexis Sanchez arrive at Manchester United, he would reportedly become the club's top earner, something that isn't likely to sit well in the long run in a star-studded locker room.

By 90Min
January 18, 2018

Manchester United have convinced Alexis Sanchez to make the move to Old Trafford, a huge coup for the club. He is a proven Premier League player, something that Antoine Griezmann, for example, is not, and his presence should give the team an immediate boost ahead of their rivals in the battle for second place over the remainder of the season.

United have had to pay Sanchez very handsomely for it to happen, though. His wages are reported to be £450,000-per-week, the highest the Premier League has ever seen, boosted by a potential £20m signing bonus to be paid over the course of the four-and-a-half year contract.

There is no question that United can afford the sums involved - the club is a money making machine - but the question is should they?

In terms of what he will bring to the pitch, absolutely. But in terms of what it could mean for contract negotiations and signing other players in the future, could Ed Woodward have better negotiated his demands down to something more in line with the club's other top names?

Sanchez arrives as United's top earner on 50% more than Paul Pogba's £300,000-per-week and the whole squad will be well aware how much their newest colleague is being paid.

Pogba is the undoubted star of the team and will remain so even after Sanchez gets down and starts playing, so is he entitled to ask, 'Why is this guy getting so much more money than me?'

How long might it be before Pogba and others want new and improved deals to match Sanchez? Not because they are greedy and want the cash, but because footballers are a sensitive group of individuals with very delicate egos. The bigger their pay packet, the higher their status.

That is something one could argue about Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar is apparently seeking a new Real Madrid deal to restore his position as the highest paid player in the world after being overtaken by both Lionel Messi and Neymar in the last six months.

He is often criticized for greed. But it's not about money, he already has more than he knows what to do with. It is about being seen as the top of his profession, about acceptance, about being loved.

As for United, paying Sanchez top dollar sets a precedent when going for any marquee signing from this moment forward. 'You're paying him that much, so I want at least that much as well,' is what club officials will hear as prospective signings and their agents cite the Sanchez deal.

United can afford it, but wages will only continue to escalate. In what is now a bygone era, Sir Alex Ferguson was famously frugal if he didn't see enough value in the proposal - there were certainly no tears when Lucas Moura got away in 2012, or Wesley Sneijder several times.

United have done well to land Sanchez and he will almost certainly prove to be a hit. But maybe the club needs to recall a little bit of that older mentality from time to time or risk becoming the proverbial rich fool too easily parted with his money.

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