Manchester United will try to avoid a culture of jealousy in the dressing room by enforcing a team-wide salary cap, according to reports, and it has been called “Ronaldo’s rule”.
In the not-too-distant past, United were willing to break their salary structure to lure so-called ‘big brand’ players to Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, is said to be making £515,385 a week during his last spell at the club. But it seems that distributing such salaries is now out of the question.
Indeed, wages will be capped at £200,000 a week under the scheme of chief executive Richard Arnold, director of football John Murtough and manager Erik ten Hag.
Daily Mail 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, received a much lower ‘take it or leave it’ offer in line with the pay cut. But it looks like he’ll take it with both hands.
Asked if he would finish his career at Old Trafford, De Gea told the Guardian: “I hope so. I was saying it’s my club, I’ve been here for many, many years and that is a huge honor to be here and I’m so happy here.
“Yeah, I’m very relaxed [about the contract], just focused on training, doing the best I can. But, for sure, it’s going to end in a good way.
Luke Shaw, another player who has impressed under Ten Hag this season, is expected to be offered similar terms to De Gea.
So who else will be impacted? We know Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to United in 2021 saw the club set a new record for the highest annual wage bill in Premier League history.
Highest 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 published by Spotrac.
But the Daily Mail report claims senior players like Varane, Harry Maguire, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes are now in the same £180,000-£200,000-a-week salary bracket.
It was also noted that penalties would be handed down if they failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Some have raised eyebrows over the announced salary cap, including former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
He said on Twitter: ‘I don’t know why a drastic new policy is being introduced if new owners are imminent,’ before responding to a fan who said he wasn’t sure a 200,000 limit £ per week is a radical policy.
Neville added: “The salary cap is a radical policy. Excludes Rice, Bellingham and others in that bracket. Any new owner would probably want to enter the race for these guys and probably Mbappe as well. 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’re all way above the £200,000-a-week cap.
Kevin De Bruyne, for example, earns £400,000 a week at reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, while Neymar [£606k]Lionel Messi [£960k] and Kylian Mbappe [£1.6m] pick up more.
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