"We were amazed at what United paid Alexis and Raiola ..."

Dick Law was Arsenal's head of transfers for almost a decade and was involved in negotiations, including the exchange between the Chilean and Mkhitaryan.


A barter of footballers between two teams, with no money involved, is an operation that is not often seen in elite clubs. In the Premier League it happened in the 2017/18 season and also involved two of the biggest stars in the competition. Alexis Sánchez was in his last months as an Arsenal footballer and the 'gunner' club wanted to get some money in exchange - months before, in summer, he had rejected an offer from Manchester City - so he sought the exchange with Manchester United by Henrick Mkhitaryan. And they succeeded. Both clubs kept the player they wanted, although neither was a success.

Dick Law was Arsenal's head of transfers for almost a decade and was involved in the negotiations. In an interview with The Athletic, Law recalls how the operation took place: "Firstly, it all depends on the valuation of the footballers because each club thinks that their horse is the most beautiful. Second, Alexis wanted to go to United and Mkhitaryan wanted to go to Arsenal, so that's why it worked, "he explains.

Y adds: "Third, you have to negotiate the salaries of the footballers and the commission of the agents. We were astonished when we heard what United paid Alexis and Raiola." According to Law, any team except Arsenal was good for Alexis, which gave Raiola a negotiating superiority that he knew how to take advantage of. "The Alexis-Mkhitaryan agreement had the worst common denominator ... Mino Raiola. And let me say it: I like Mino, I can work with him all day and all night. He is a top professional. But he knows how to take advantage," says Law about how the negotiations with the agent went.

"Manchester United, for whatever reason, left Raiola as the last piece of the puzzle, so you can imagine the influence that Raiola had knowing that Alexis was the critical element of the negotiation. That is why I think he knew how to take advantage of all negotiation, "he concludes.

According to Der Spiegel magazine, Alexis earned 450,000 euros a week, in addition to a transfer bonus of 7.8 million. For his part, Mkhitaryan made 170,000 euros a week at the Emirates Stadium and had a loyalty bonus of more than 9 million. And all those amounts were negotiated before Raiola charged a penny on the entire operation. Alexis's stage at Old Trafford ended up being a failure, since he only played 45 games, scored five goals and was loaned to Inter Milan, who later signed him permanently. Mkhitaryan went from more to less and ended up going to Roma, first on loan and then permanently.

Photos from as.com

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