Premier League stars' crazy contracts revealed by Football Leaks
- 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.