Premier League stars' crazy con­tracts re­vealed by Foot­ball Leaks

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

- Jose Mour­inho's des­per­a­tion to gazump Pep Guardi­ola in the hot pur­suit of Alexis Sanchez saw Manch­ester United com­mit to a £6.7mil­lion sign­ing-on fee to the Chilean on top of £391 000-a-week pay, it can be re­vealed.

A cache of con­tract in­for­ma­tion, ob­tained by the Ger­man news mag­a­zine Der Spiegel and pub­lished in the book ‘Foot­ball Leaks: Un­cov­er­ing The Dirty Deals Be­hind The Beau­ti­ful Game’ and pub­lished by Sports­mail, re­veals the ex­tra­or­di­nary add-ons Arse­nal, Liver­pool, Chelsea and the two Manch­ester clubs have been will­ing to pay in their des­per­ate pur­suit of supremacy.

The fig­ures, which Sir Alex Fer­gu­son would cer­tainly have blanched at if still in charge, re­veal that Sanchez's ba­sic £20.35m a year in wages and mar­ket­ing rights — de­pen­dent on Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion, which United have se­cured — is sup­ple­mented by £75 000 for ev­ery game he starts, as well as a £1.1m an­nual sign­ing-on fee.

There will be an­other £2m if he reaches a com­bi­na­tion of 40 goals and as­sists in a sea­son, £1m if United win the Cham­pi­ons League and £500 000 if they win the Premier League. Po­ten­tially, Sanchez can earn £25m a year.

The rip­ple-down com­mer­cial ef­fects of United's will­ing­ness to dig so deep for Sanchez prompted a des­per­ate Arse­nal to make ex­tra­or­di­nary pay­ments of their own to bol­ster Arsene Wenger's fail­ing squad with Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang on dead­line day in Jan­uary.

In a des­per­ately poor ne­go­ti­at­ing


po­si­tion, they agreed to pay the Gabon in­ter­na­tional a re­mark­able £18.2m on top of his £198 000-a-week salary when sign­ing him from Borus­sia Dort­mund.

Aubameyang's list of ex­tras in­cluded a £15.15m loy­alty bonus, split into four in­stal­ments, to be paid be­fore the end of his con­tract in 2021, £300 000 for 25 goals and as­sists in a sea­son (he has 13 so far) and £50 000 for ev­ery Premier League match he starts which Arse­nal win. They have man­aged five since his ar­rival, earn­ing him an ex­tra £250 000.

How­ever, per­haps the most re­mark­able de­tail in Aubameyang's Arse­nal deal re­lates to his 'Cham­pi­ons League bonus' of £2.26m — which the striker will re­ceive even though Arse­nal failed to qual­ify for Europe's elite club com­pe­ti­tion.

The add-ons in Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan's Arse­nal salary are equally ex­tra­or­di­nary, con­sid­er­ing his strug­gle to prove him­self at Old Traf­ford be­fore Jan­uary's swap deal with Sanchez.

His ba­sic £144 000-a-week pay will rise to £240 000 a week if Arse­nal trig­ger an op­tion to ex­tend his deal. There was also a £8.65m 'loy­alty bonus' on sign­ing for the Lon­don club.

It can also be re­vealed that Liver­pool com­mit­ted to a 'clean­sheet bonus' of at least £250 000 for Vir­gil van Dijk when he signed from Southamp­ton — which the Dutch cen­tre back has not se­cured be­cause 15 shutouts are nec­es­sary and there have been only eight so far.

The Van Dijk con­tract is com­plex but he seems to be en­ti­tled to £375 000 if there are 18 clean sheets next sea­son, £500,000 for 20 and £750 000 for 22.

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