Manchester United will reportedly seek to avoid a culture of jealousy in the dressing room by reportedly enforcing a team-wide salary cap dubbed the “Ronaldo Rule”.
In the not-too-distant past, United were willing to disrupt their wage structure in order to lure the so-called ‘big brand’ players to Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, is said to have earned £515,385 a week during his last stint at the club. But it seems that handing out such wages is now out of the question.
That’s because salaries are capped at £200,000 a week under the regime of CEO Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and manager Erik ten Hag.
The Daily Mail claim goalkeeper David De Gea will be the first player to be affected by the rule.
The Spaniard, who was previously on £375,000 a week, has been given a far lower take-or-leave offer in line with the pay cut. But it seems he’ll take it with both hands.
Asked if he would retire at Old Trafford, De Gea told The Guardian: “I hope so. I said this is my club, I’ve been here for many, many years and it’s a great honor to be here and I’m so happy here.
“Yes, I am very relaxed [about the contract]I was just concentrating on training and playing as well as I could. But it will definitely end well.”
Luke Shaw, another player who has impressed under Ten Hag this season, is said to be offered similar terms to De Gea.
So who else will be affected? We know Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to United in 2021 helped the club set a new record for the highest annual payroll in Premier League history.
Top earners at Old Trafford included Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, Casemiro and Anthony Martial, all of whom earned more than £200,000 a week in wages, according to figures released by Spotrac.
But The Daily Mail’s report claims that older players like Varane, Harry Maguire, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes are now in the same £180,000-200,000-a-week pay bracket.
It has also been pointed out that sanctions will be imposed if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Some have raised eyebrows at the reported salary cap, including former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
He said on Twitter: “I’m not sure why a radical new policy is being introduced when new owners are imminent,” before replying to a fan who said he wasn’t sure about a £200,000-a-week limit is a radical directive.
Neville added: “Capping wages is a radical policy. Excludes Rice, Bellingham and others in this group. Any new owner would probably want to run for these guys and probably Mbappe too. Anyway, enjoy Sunday.”
The salary cap could potentially limit their activity in the transfer market. If you look at the highest paid players in world football right now, they are all well over the £200,000-a-week ceiling.
Kevin De Bruyne, for example, makes £400,000-a-week at reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, while Neymar [£606k]Lionel Messi [£960k] and Kylian Mbappe [£1.6m] make a lot more.
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