Managerial adversaries and the dud Sanchez-Mkhitaryan barter trade
The marquee deal that  really never was (Picture:Getty Images/Shaun Botterill)

The raison d'être of football clubs in any transfer window is to assemble the best of talents within their budget and perhaps on the basis of their footballing philosophy. Apart from the seemingly perpetual increase in club revenue stemming from television bidding rights, match day ticket sales, and lucrative sponsorship deals, the universal accounting practice of player amortization has further strengthened clubs financially in their transfer market dealings. Insofar as football transfers go, cash plus player / player for player swap deals are unconventional. (Francesco Coco for Clarence Seedorf, Fabio Cannavaro for Fabian Carini, Ashley Cole for William Gallas + £5m and the infamous Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Samuel Eto’o + £35m are part of just a few high profile transfer swaps till date).

A deal of the highest order

Inspired perhaps by the chorus of renowned departed singer Prince’s modest 1991 classic "Money Don't Matter 2 Night”, managerial adversaries - Wenger and Mourinho decided to tow an unorthodox transfer route - a trade methodology quite outlandish in football but very applicable in basketball. Both managers agreed to a swap deal involving Mkhitaryan from Manchester United to Arsenal with Alexis Sánchez moving in the other direction. The transfer seemed to make sense for both coaches largely on the basis of their managerial profiles - Whereas Mourinho has always fancied managing established stars with egos even bigger than Kanye West, Wenger’s preference has always been to tutor and mentor technically gifted players.

Grand Opening,Bizarre Exit

With clubs capitalizing on social media to entertain their fans, Sánchez’s Mozart impression and Mkhitaryan’s “Yo Pierre” display during their respective unveilings had all the characteristics of a superb hors d'oeuvre which would hopefully lead to a “sumptuous” spell for both players. However,after 18 months,104 appearances and just 14 goals between the pair, not forgetting poor form, injuries and uninspiring displays, both players have been sent on loan for a new lease of life in Italy. At least if they fail to reinvigorate their respective careers in football, the arts, fashion, pizza, pasta, and gelato can serve as a befitting consolation.

After reaching an agreement on arguably the most underwhelming high profile transfer deal in the history of association football, perhaps barter trade is void and money is the only medium of exchange in the transfer window. Finally, never accept an adversary's freebie; it's likely to go south.