Arsene Wenger has hailed Manchester United’s ability to generate money through which they can afford to pay players huge sums of money, while aiming a sly dig at their local title rivals Manchester City.
The Reds appear to have pipped Man City to the signing of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean seemed almost certain to join City either this month or at the end of the season when his contract is up at the Emirates.
Man United have offered Sanchez huge wages, with reports varying hugely in the media. At the lower end of the scale, claims suggest Sanchez will earn over £250,000 while some incredible estimates indicate earnings of over £400,000 a week.
Whatever the sum, United have offered the player a massive contract and that’s part of the attraction for him, though the club’s history, fans, tradition, success and world-class players in the squad are also immensely attractive.
Wenger lamented the inequality within football, but praised United.
“Modern football has created a kind of game where the best players are grouped to a very small number of clubs,” the Frenchman said. “That makes football less unpredictable.”
In a sly dig at City, who have benefitted from the significant investment of the ruling family of the UAE that has not been stopped by UEFA’s failed Financial Fair Play plan.
“I respect Man United because they generate the money that they pay to the players through their own resources,” Wenger said.
“Manchester United is a club managed very well financially. It is no mystery that Utd and City have bigger financial resources.
“The difference between the financial resources of the biggest clubs and the smaller clubs, this gap has increased in the last 5 years tremendously.”
It’s an argument of many United fans with City now trying to claim that Jose Mourinho has changed them into the ‘money’ club. It’s a ridiculous proposition. United have money taken out of the club by their owners who leech off the success, while City’s owners plough money not generated by the club itself into signings.
The idea that Sanchez is only joining United for money is nonsense. Players of his generation have grown up watching United as the biggest and most successful club in the world. Very few players of his generation would not wish to play for the club.
Similarly, he’s being given the opportunity to play alongside huge talents in Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. At 29 years old and more experienced, he can be the talisman of a young side with potential.