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Monday 19 August 2019

Gareth McAuley stunned by 'ridiculous' wages in modern game

Gareth McAuley has started all 17 of West Brom's Premier League games this season
Gareth McAuley has started all 17 of West Brom's Premier League games this season

West Brom defender Gareth McAuley has labelled rising Premier League wages "ridiculous".

The 37-year-old Northern Ireland international insists, though, that players are not at fault for their huge pay packets if clubs are willing to offer them.

Albion face Arsenal on Monday with the Gunners in contract talks with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, who are reportedly asking for over £300,000 a week.

Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United this year for a reported £290,000 a week while in China Oscar can expect to earn £400,000 a week when he moves to Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea next month.

McAuley worked as a window draughtsman before turning professional in 2004 and admitted, even as a current top-flight player, he is stunned at the high wages.

"It's ridiculous isn't it," he told Press Association Sport. "Some of the sums which are being mentioned are ridiculous but that's the nature of it, the beast which has been created through TV and the marketing of the Premier League. Further afield some of these monster figures are being thrown about.

"I've been in the real world and I think the money in football is crazy but that is the beast. That's what's been created.

"Fair play to these lads, they go through a lot and if someone is giving them that amount of money then that's up to them. I don't know where it stops."

Jonny Evans could return after a calf injury to partner McAuley in defence at the Emirates having been linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer.

Evans has shone for Albion since a £6million move from Manchester United in 2015 and McAuley understands why the Gunners were said to be interested.

"I was talking to Brunty (Chris Brunt) about this and we were saying, at United, Jonny was probably made a bit of scapegoat. He was an easy target," he said.

"When he was leaving (United) a few of the bigger clubs, because of that, weren't interested. He has come to us and shown his quality. Now they will all be interested in him again but he's happy here and that's great to see. It might take something ridiculous to get him."

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