Cristiano Ronaldo will become the highest-paid footballer in Premier League history when he signs his Manchester United contract, according to a new report.
‘It is understood that Ronaldo’s two-year contract, which includes the option of another 12 months, will see him stand to earn in excess of the £560,000 a week that former United forward Alexis Sanchez’s deal was worth at Old Trafford including bonuses and image rights,’ Ducker writes.
‘However, the contract is said to be substantially less than Lionel Messi’s £1m a week deal with Paris Saint-Germain, whom he joined on a free transfer from Barcelona earlier this month.
‘Raphael Varane’s £400,000 a week deal with United had briefly made him the highest earning player in the Premier League this summer but that will now be eclipsed by his new team-mate, with whom he also played at Real.’
Ducker is a very reliable journalist but his claims of both Ronaldo’s salary and that of Varane are well in excess of what has been reported elsewhere.
Varane’s contact was widely reported to be £200,000 per week.
Ducker does include ‘bonuses and image rights’ in his calculation, though, which could in theory make his figures plausible.
The journalist also claims in the same article that ‘The Glazers had been presented with the opportunity to sign Ronaldo earlier in the summer but had resisted given that they were already committing almost £120m to sign Jadon Sancho and Varane from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively.
‘But the owners decided to make an exception for Ronaldo once City entered the running for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner after resolving they could not allow a game-changing signing and one of their most revered former players to join the champions and team they are trying to usurp at the top of the Premier League.’
This part of Ducker’s exclusive is more consistent with other reports. It was widely reported earlier in the summer that Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, had sounded out United, amongst other clubs, about a possible move.
It is also clear that City’s interest appeared to begin only when they accepted defeat in their pursuit of Harry Kane from Spurs – in other words, CR7 was in some senses their consolation prize and the reticence on both sides allowed United to pounce.