Joey Barton was actually in danger of sounding like a sensible human being on BBC 5 Live recently.
The former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder had his say on Alexis Sanchez’s current contract situation at Arsenal since, you know, everyone else is, it seems. And the 34-year-old actually had a point, claiming that the massive new TV deals are affecting how agents are approaching contract deals.
They know the clubs have the money and they also know that the people who watch the games are watching them for the players.
“In the same way with yourself when it comes to your arena where you look at what the other stations are paying and you go ‘Hang on’. It’s market forces,” he said.
“That’s where agents come into it. I think a lot of these re-negotiations are off the back of these mega TV deals where the Sanchez’, [Mesut] Ozils and all the players at Tottenham are saying ‘We are who the people pay to come and see, we need to be paid in proportion.’
“Sanchez will know, or his agent should know, exactly what the going rate is. Your Pogba money, your Gareth Bale money and the [Cristiano] Ronaldo deal at Real Madrid recently.
“I’m not saying they are in that bracket but in this moment in time, Sanchez is better than Pogba. He’s not better than Ronaldo but he’s better than Pogba so his agent should be pitching for somewhere in the middle.”
It’s true, Alexis is one of, if not the most in-from player in the Premier League at the moment and with his existing contract with Arsenal running out in 2018, everyone’s looking at the club, waiting for their next move.
For some reason, I’m feeling oddly confident that the Chilean will stay. However, Barton does offer an uncharacteristically sensible insight into how contract negotiations are currently unfolding, not necessarily just for Alexis but all top players right now.