How much is a Premier League medal worth?

£25 million.

That is how much Alexis Sanchez is willing to “sacrifice” by joining Manchester City in January rather than the summer, according to reports this morning.

Were Sanchez to move on a free transfer at the end of the season, as history dictates, he and his agent will demand a huge chunk of his transfer value.

Arsenal created the situation of players getting “paid” the transfer fee when Sol Campbell joined from Spurs in 2001.

Instead of paying a huge transfer fee, Arsenal put together a four year package worth £20 million – including signing on fee, bonuses and salary – which back then made one of the highest paid players in world football.

It was reported at the time that his “basic” wage was £60,000, and that Arsenal would pay an additional £30,000 a week over the 4 year period as a signing on fee. This was big money 17 years ago.

This kind of set a precedent in players leaving on a Bosman. They would be paid more due to a lack of transfer fee, with that extra money coming in signing on fees to avoid breaking squad wage structures.

Fast forward to Demba Ba. He left Newcastle for Chelsea when the London side activated his £7 million release clause. His agents estimated that his true value was closer to £20 million.

With Chelsea then getting him “on the cheap” the agents demanded an increased signing on fee from Chelsea.

Ba pocketed £3 million, his agents £2.5 million.

Just last week, we saw Ross Barkley move to Everton for a cut price £15 million. Today it was announced that his agents were paid £7 million for the transfer.

So there is massive precedent of players on a free transfer, or going for a lot less than their “value” pocketed a big chunk of cash as a signing on fee.

Reports are that Alexis Sanchez (or his people) was demanding £25 million to complete a free transfer in the summer. And that he is willing to “sacrifice” that £25 million to join city in January.

Now the story could be written that Sanchez is so desperate to get out of Arsenal that he is willing to sacrifice a big pay day in the summer. Whilst this does have some legs, we are talking about 5 months time. The reality is that it is unlikely that he will want to lose out on £25 million just because he is a bit unhappy.

The truth is that he wants to win a Premier League medal. And that by joining Manchester City in January, he is guaranteed winning one. So he is willing to sacrifice £25 million to win that medal.

A Premier League medal for Alexis Sanchez will be a hollow success.

Manchester City have the league already won. They are 15 points ahead of Manchester United in 2nd place after 22 games. They need just another 11 wins to secure the title. And that is if Manchester United win every game. City probably only actually need to win another 8 games to secure the title.

Sanchez joining now is a player coming late to the race. The hard work has been done. At the end of the season, even if he scores 10 goals and contributes to a couple of wins, City would have won the league regardless of his signing.

He might end up with a medal, but it will be a meaningless one.

Interestingly, in Sanchez’s 10 year career in Europe, he only has one league title to show for it. It probably shows why desperate he is to win medals, however hollow they are.

So Sanchez is desperate for a Premier League medal, despite it being hollow. And he is willing to sacrifice £25 million for what would be a hollow victory.

£25 million to win a Premier League medal.

As a final thought, if Sanchez does join Manchester City this week, he will still get a huge signing on fee. So he is not really sacrificing anything.


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