A straight swap deal is a transfer that is very rarely seen in football - especially between two high-profile players.
But Arsenal and Manchester United have done just that after Alexis Sanchez swapped the Emirates for Old Trafford with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.
In truth, it’s hard to say which club got the better deal.
United are getting a world-class player while offloading a player that was struggling for first-team football. Whereas Arsenal have lost a player that had just six months left on his contract and have got a very good player in return.
Of course, if they hadn’t allowed Sanchez to run his contract down, they could have been getting a far better deal. But in the circumstances, they can’t complain.
While Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are getting plenty of stick for failing to sign new deals for both Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, Ian Wright believes it’s something we will see in years to come.
With transfer fees out of control with Neymar moving to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record €222 million, the Arsenal legend thinks we will now see more free transfers due to big players running down their current deals - something that will see him earn a bigger signing of fee and, ultimately, better wages.
IAN WRIGHT'S TRANSFER MARKET PREDICTION
“In years to come we will look back on his transfer to Manchester United as a ground-breaker — one I feel will become the norm,” Wright wrote in The Sun.
"Namely that more and more world-class stars will run down their contracts and move for nothing or, at best, a fraction of their real worth in the closing months of their deals.
"Of course you will still get the odd astronomical transfer but they will be very much the exception.
Just look at the logic involved. A player worth, say, £80million with 18 months left can move for nothing at the end of that time.
"He can then pocket a signing-on fee upwards of £25m, on top of sky-high wages — money that would have gone to the selling club in a fee otherwise.
"I know Paris Saint-Germain paid silly money to sign Neymar but there aren’t many PSGs out there.
Deals like that will be seen less and less over the years, while Sanchez-type transfers will increase.
"Mark my words, there will be a complete shake-up of the transfer system as we know it. Alexis is merely the tip of the iceberg. This is the dawn of a whole new age."
It’s a very interesting prediction from Wright and it certainly makes sense.
Transfer fees simply can’t keep increasing and maybe players running down their contracts will become the norm.
So instead of fees getting higher, players’ wages will just increase instead...
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