Paul Ince: Manchester United remains a bigger attraction to players than Manchester City

by Leo Nieboer

Paul Ince has insisted that Alexis Sanchez’s decision to join up with Jose Mourinho shows that Manchester United remain a bigger attraction to players than Manchester City.

The Chile international looked set for a move to the Ethiad after Man City came close to signing him over the summer, with Kevin de Bruyne even noting earlier this month that he would “add something to the team”.

But Man United have swooped in to secure Sanchez’s services instead in a straight swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

And Ince, speaking to Paddy Power, noted that the 28-year-old’s decision to join United shows that they remain the biggest club in Manchester.

“Everyone is raving about City,” he said. “But when it comes to the two clubs, Man United are miles bigger than City. Let’s not get this mixed up. Players would still prefer to go to them over Pep’s side – that’s a fact.”

“Players won’t go to City because they think they’re a bigger, more historic club than United. Because they’re simply not. Yes, some might get the quick satisfaction of winning the league this year, but those years of history, and the side that Mourinho is building – players want to be a part of that.

“This signing only confirms that. Sanchez had the opportunity to go into a team where in a few months he could have won a trophy. But he didn’t, he chose to go to United because of everything they stand for and that says a lot about the size of the club.

“City have some unbelievable players, but winning the league this year doesn’t mean anything. They need to be doing that year upon year and collecting loads of trophies to compete with United. That’s the true test.

“They’re not serial winners, but United are and that’s why players want to be there. With the Champions League around the corner, this is a huge boost. Sanchez hasn’t come to Old Trafford not to play. He’s come to show just how good he is, on the top stage, which is in Europe.

“He’s a special player and the sort that doesn’t come around that often, so and I’d say United’s hopes of winning their fourth European trophy have just got a lot more likely.”

When Sanchez pulled into Carrington on Monday morning to put the final touches to his move to Old Trafford, he wouldn’t have expected to see Sir Alex Ferguson, the man himself, waiting for him to provide a few words of wisdom.

To then walk into the training base and see legend after legend adorning the walls before meeting Mourinho, the man with a long list of honours who battled to sign you, would only add to Sanchez’s feeling that this, right here, is a big, big club – paralleled by none, regardless of financial muscle and results.

To suggest that only money motivated Sanchez to join United is, well, simply wrong.

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