Criticism of Alexis Sanchez over money-grabbing is ridiculous, claims Rio Ferdinand

by Harry Robinson

Rio Ferdinand has come out in defence of Alexis Sanchez ahead of the Chilean’s imminent move to Manchester United.

The Arsenal forward is set to sign a contract worth in excess of £350,000-a-week at Old Trafford, while Man United’s Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will go the other way in a rare player-swap deal between two major European clubs.

Mkhitaryan will reportedly become Arsenal’s highest paid player, too. Sanchez had been expected to join Manchester City, United’s local title rivals, either this month or when his contract at Arsenal was set to expire, in summer.

However, Jose Mourinho swooped in and has secured a move for a world-class player, partly with the promise of first-team football and partly with a bigger contract offer than City offered.

Sanchez has been criticised for moving due to money, and Ferdinand defended him.

“Players do not set the benchmarks and the rules for the prices,” Ferdinand explained to BT Sport.

“It’s the TV rights why the cubs are paying the players.

“It strikes me that footballers always get hammered for this situation.

“Is it because it’s a working class sport? is it because a lot of people come from less affluent backgrounds?

“Because I don’t see golfers, who earn huge money, getting called out for their wages that they’re earning.

“Motor racing drivers. These guys don’t get called out for what they earn on a weekly on yearly basis.

“The difference baffles me a little bit.

“Yeah, a policeman, fireman or nurse deserves to earn more than any sportsperson on the planet, but we are just lucky that we’re born into an industry that pays so well.”

A key issue, though, is that Sanchez rejected a bumper offer at Arsenal and initially wanted to leave the Emirates because of a lack of ambition from the Gunners who are reluctant to spend big money on players to help them compete with major trophies.

Simultaneously, Sanchez has chosen United, the world’s biggest football club over City, not a smaller side. City, too, were offering Sanchez a huge wage packet worth more than £13m a year.

The arguments in defence of Sanchez continue, too, given that most right-minded people would accept more money to do the same job but with a higher chance of greater success, which is what the 29-year-old is being given the chance to have at United.

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