Dick Law, Arsenal’s former transfer head, was “astounded” to learn how much Manchester United paid Alexis Sanchez and his agent after the Gunners agreed to a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in 2018. Sanchez was in the final year of his contract with Arsenal during the 2017-18 season, and the Gunners were desperate to acquire something for him in the winter transfer window after rejecting a £60 million bid from Manchester City before the season began.
United and Arsenal were able to agree on a remarkable player-for-player swap without exchanging a single penny, with Mkhitaryan, a long-time Arsenal target, heading in the opposite direction. Law was taken aback by the financials involved in bringing Sanchez to United, admitting in an interview with The Athletic how Sanchez’s agent, Mino Raiola, ‘leveraged the whole transaction.’
‘I think, first and foremost, it comes down to valuation of players; every owner feels his pony is the prettiest one at the fair,’ Law, who was Arsenal’s transfer negotiator between 2009 and 2018, said when discussing how difficult it is to sanction player swap agreements.
‘It worked because Sanchez wanted to go to United and Mkhitaryan wanted to go to Arsenal.’ The third issue would have been agency commissions and player negotiations. When we found out how much United paid the player and the agency, we were floored.’
Source: Daily Mail