Alexis Sanchez isn’t a mercenary for joining Manchester United, insists Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

by Harry Robinson

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez, rubbishing claims that the forward is a ‘mercenary’ for moving between the two clubs.

Sanchez is well-known to be earning far more money at Man United than he did at Arsenal since his Monday evening move that saw Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan join the Gunners in a straight player swap deal.

However, much had been made of what Sanchez would be earning well-before he put pen to paper at Old Trafford. Some seemingly unfounded reports suggested that the Chilean would earn £600,000 but a more likely estimate is £350,000-a-week. It’s a monumental figure, and many have criticised Sanchez for choosing United over cross-city title rivals Manchester City who are more likely to win trophies.

That is, of course, despite United being the biggest club in the country with a superb chance of silverware in the coming seasons just one of many reasons to join the club.

“Of course the financial aspect is important but he could combine both [by joining United],” Wenger said ahead of Arsenal’s EFL Cup semi-final second-leg clash against Chelsea.

“I think he’s going to a great club and he gets a great contract, so you can understand that a professional player can combine both aspects

“I ask you what is the difference between a professional and a mercenary? I wouldn’t say he is a mercenary.

“For me, it is not a problem the money you pay,” Wenger claimed.

The Frenchman had previously indicated he thought Sanchez was partly motivated by money, by saying he couldn’t understand why he’d wish to leave the club.

But the reasons are obvious. More chance of trophies, a bigger reputation, playing alongside better players, a club with a unique history and tradition, and, of course, more money.

In comparison to City, too, United are a more attractive option simply because Sanchez is guaranteed to be the star at United in a way he would not be across the city where a whole host of superb attacking talents are plying their trade.

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