Manchester City to offer Kevin De Bruyne a new contract
Belgian playmaker set for huge pay rise as club seek to ward of interest from rivals
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne is fouled by his compatriot Jan Vertonghen during his side’s 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
De Bruyne is enjoying the best form of his career and, along with David Silva, the 26-year-old has been the driving force in Pep Guardiola’s side. City are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League, with their win against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend a record top-flight 16th consecutive victory.
De Bruyne was signed from Wolfsburg in August 2015 for €62 million (£55m) and, given his form and recent transfer-fee inflation, could be expected to fetch about double that now. City are aware he may attract bids from the likes of Real and Barcelona but are adamant the Belgian is not for sale.
De Bruyne is contracted until 2021 on a salary worth about €130,000 a week. The City executive are conscious this makes him relatively underpaid considering his importance to the side. At Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar receives €570,000 a week and Kylian Mbappé €340,000 a week.
In October, De Bruyne’s agent, Patrick De Koster, said: “His [prospective new] salary? I cannot say. But if you think what Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are being paid, you can picture.”
City are keen to secure De Bruyne to improved terms as soon as possible, particularly as there is a recognition at the club that his value could rocket further if he enjoys a successful World Cup with Belgium next summer. Any new contract would also include image rights.
“I always say in football that a lot of things can happen very quickly, but I’m very happy here,” said De Bruyne, who has scored seven times in 24 appearances for City this season. “I’ve no feeling to go anywhere else and enjoy being part of the project here and playing the kind of football we are playing. The team is going in the right direction and that’s also important. I made the right decision coming to City and my family feels the same so everything is good.”
De Bruyne is benefiting from a summer break. “It makes a difference because the last four or five years I don’t ever really remember having a good break before the new season began. This year, I had four weeks in the summer – which is massive for me – and it really helps you come back re-energised. I’ve only been having two or 2½ weeks in summer to rest before this year, so it was good.”
Regarding Guardiola’s influence on his form, the player said: “He tries to engage us all. And if you have a problem, somebody can help you because as a footballer, it’s always better if things are good and your family is happy, and he definitely understands that.”
City may also move to offer Ederson an improved deal. The goalkeeper signed in the close season from Benfica for almost €40 million and has impressed. The Brazilian’s compatriots Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus are also expected to be offered fresh terms. – Guardian service