Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has stated that he respects how Manchester United go about their transfer proceedings, as The Red Devils edge closer to a bumper deal for Gunners talisman Alexis Sánchez.
United have grown into one of the world's global superpowers which has meant that they have not been afraid to splash the cash to not only grow their team but also their brand, having spent in excess of £544million in the past four years.
It doesn't look like they are going to be slowing down anytime soon as their deal for Arsenal's Chilean maestro nears completion, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan expected to go the other way with the Armenian's United career in disarray, having failed to regain a regular starting XI place under José Mourinho.
It's 'Down to them'
Considering Sánchez's contract is due to run out in the summer the numbers of the deal are staggering with United to pay £30m for the player and then receive £14m a year in wages after tax, Wenger confirmed that the deal is edging closer to completion and stated that he respects how United use their revenue to reinvest in their side.
"I wouldn't like to come out on the numbers because that's Man Utd's problem", Wenger stated. "I respect Man Utd because they generate the money they pay to the players with their own resources so you have to respect that."
"After that it's down to them to know how much they want to give to the player", the Frenchman admitted. "Overall Man Utd are a club very well managed financially and of course as well on the pitch so that's why I don't have any problems with the money they pay."
"He's 29-years-old", the 68-year-old proclaimed. "[So] the next contract will be, of course, very important for him."
"We did the maximum we could afford to do", Wenger added. "[And] one day maybe I will come out on that but today is not the moment."
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Won't be as painful
Sánchez isn't the first and certainly might not be the last to move between the once great rivals, with The Red Devils also reported to be sniffing around playmaker Mesut Özil whose contract also runs out in the summer.
Danny Welbeck was the last man to make the switch between the two sides but the most memorable transfer in recent years was Robin van Persie's move to Old Trafford in 2012, the Dutchman made the £24m in search of triumph and was instantly rewarded with the Premier League title in his first season.
Van Persie had been through thick and thin with The Gunners since they signed him from Feyenoord at the tender age of 20, and Wenger admitted that Sánchez's move will less painful than that of the Dutchman's as they will be receiving a player in return.
"We took Van Persie when he played in the reserve team at Feyenoord", he said. "We made a long work with him. When you get them there and, after they leave, that is the most painful."
"Our fans know Alexis will not extend", the coach admitted. "They have accepted that idea and the fact it will not be one-way traffic."
"It will be other-way traffic as well and that makes the whole thing a bit smoother, maybe a bit less disappointing". Wenger concluded. "We lose a player, yes, but we could gain another player. I think one would replace the other."