Alexis or Pogba, De Gea or Lukaku? Ranking Manchester United’s best-paid players

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The Red Devils have been fairly liberal in handing out huge contracts in recent years, but who sits where in their list of highest salaries?

Manchester United caused a real stir in January when snapping up from Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Far beyond the Chilean being recruited from a Premier League rival midway through the season, the biggest bone of contention appeared to be his British-record salary of £350,000 per week.

Such is the fascination in the money being spent by football clubs in the modern era, supporters have taken an increased interest in players' wages as well as the outlays made to selling clubs in the transfer market.

And United have led the way in splashing out on playing contracts over the course of the Premier League era, signing themselves up to the five biggest deals in English history over the last five years, most recently with Sanchez.

But who gets what in the current United squad? Below,  Goal  goes through the Old Trafford pay-grades, listing the estimated weekly salary of the top-ranked Red Devils in terms of salary.

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    THE LOWEST-PAID: Scott McTominay - £20,000

    Young midfielder Scott McTominay has caused a stir in recent weeks by earning a first-team spot at the expense of Paul Pogba among others, but United's faith in him had already been proven in the autumn when they signed him to a new long-term deal which saw his salary rise to £20,000 a week.

    He currently remains the club's lowest-paid first-team squad member though, with Marcus Rashford's similar basic wage topped up by a string of bonuses which push his take-home pay towards the £50,000 mark.

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    13. Marouane Fellaini - £80,000

    Marouane Fellaini looks set to leave Manchester United in the summer, with his refusal to sign a new Old Trafford deal thus far leaving him four months shy of free-agent status.

    The Belgian could command a higher salary than his current £80,000 weekly pay elsewhere as a result, with United unable to command a transfer fee once his current contract runs out at the end of June.

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    12. Michael Carrick - £80,000

    Club captain Michael Carrick is the old statesman of Old Trafford these days, and is set to retire in the summer to take up a coaching role under Jose Mourinho.

    In the meantime he will continue to earn £80,000 a week on the pitch and, while that's a drop on his previous wage in light of his decreasing involvement at first-team level, Carrick couldn't be more well thought of around Carrington.

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    11. Chris Smalling - £80,000

    Former Fulham defender Chris Smalling has lost his England place in recent months, with his performances at club level with United failing to convince national boss Gareth Southgate of his continued quality.

    But he remains a valuable member of the Old Trafford ranks despite some fluctuating form, and his £80,000 take-home wage is set to keep rolling in until 2020.

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    10. Jesse Lingard - £100,000

    News of Jesse Lingard's new contract in 2017 which took his weekly wage up to the six-figure mark came as a huge shock to some self-proclaimed analysts.

    But while Twitter suffered a temporary meltdown at the deal, Lingard has gone on to justify the faith shown in him by the club with 13 goals already this season amid a string of hugely impressive performances.

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    9. Antonio Valencia - £100,000

    While Jose Mourinho refused to name an official vice-captain at the beginning of the season after the promotion of Michael Carrick to the main leadership role, Ecuadorian full-back Antonio Valencia has filled in in an unofficial capacity.

    And with his £100,000 weekly salary in tow, Valencia continues to confound some doubters. Gary Neville even told Goal this week that some of his performances of late have pushed him close to the 'world class' category.

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    8. Ashley Young - £110,000

    Once a speedy England winger, Ashley Young has been steadily transformed into United's first-choice left-back over recent times, and his current deal entitles him to £110,000 a week.

    The 32-year-old will have his club option picked up too, ensuring that he stays on the favourable deal until the end of June 2019, just nine days shy of his 34th birthday.

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    7. Nemanja Matic - £120,000

    The signing of Nemanja Matic last summer was seen as a key addition for United, and the Serbian managed to negotiate a six-figure weekly wage as a result.

    His form may well have dipped since the heady days of August and September, but he remains an important figure in United's hopes of progressing deep in the Champions League. Were they to lift the European trophy in May, his £120,000 salary would seem like a snip.

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    6. Juan Mata - £140,000

    Juan Mata is the people's champion in many ways, with his decision to set up the Common Goal project just one of the reasons why fans of all clubs warm to the Spaniard.

    His campaign for players to donate 1 per cent of their salary to good causes has gone down well across the world, and in his case it means an estimated £1,400 boost to the charity in light of him earning £140,000 a week at Old Trafford.

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    5. David de Gea - £200,000

    With Real Madrid forever lurking in the background, United have been keen to keep David de Gea happy and are preparing a potential long-term deal worth £275,000 a week.

    In the meantime the Spain No.1 will have to make do with the current £200,000 weekly terms which he signed up for in 2015, a matter of days after his planned move to Madrid fell through thanks to 'that' fax machine blunder.

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    4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - £220,000

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic actually took a pay cut last summer when renegotiating a deal which would see him add a second year to his Manchester United stay, with his long absence due to ACL surgery dictating that his market value had dropped from 12 months earlier when he first arrived at Old Trafford.

    But with the Swede having made just two starts all season as his right knee continues to cause problems, some have doubted the wisdom of snapping him up on an extended contract.

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    3. Romelu Lukaku - £250,000

    After banging in 20-plus goals for Everton in three successive seasons, Romelu Lukaku made the most of his market value by signing up to a £250,000 weekly deal when completing his £75 million transfer to Manchester United last summer.

    The Belgian has paid some of that back with his 22 goals so far this term, most recently earning United three points against Chelsea - a former club of his - with a goal and an assist.

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    2. Paul Pogba - £290,000

    When Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2016 he did so as a bona fide superstar with the wages to match.

    The former United youth teamer came back after four years at Juventus which had seen him develop a huge reputation, and the Old Trafford board agreed to pay him £290,000 a week to transfer his quality and sellability to the Theatre of Dreams.

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    1. Alexis Sanchez - £350,000 per week

    Alexis Sanchez's United deal had everybody talking in January as he made the most of his decreased transfer value in the final year of his Arsenal contract.

    United's relatively small transfer outlay was partially offset by Sanchez demanding a Premier League-high weekly salary plus bonuses.