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April 8, 2021

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De Bruyne gets new deal as City reveals EPL’s highest payroll

Manchester City now has the English Premier League’s largest-ever wage bill, and it is set to keep on growing.

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne secured improved terms yesterday with a two-year extension that contracts him to City until 2025.

The deal was announced as the club’s annual report showed employee costs rose 11 percent in the last financial year to 351 million pounds (US$485 million). City’s payroll costs now eclipse those across Manchester at United, which dropped to 284 million pounds in the same period covering the pandemic-disrupted 2019-20 season.

And the footnotes of City’s finance document disclose that this season’s ongoing pursuit of a quadruple, while illustrious for the club, could come with a large price.

City said that additional transfer payments, signing-on fees and loyalty bonuses will be due to players and clubs of up to 158.2 million pounds “upon the achievement of certain conditions.”

Pep Guardiola’s side remains on course to produce its most successful season since the influx of cash from Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour, with his takeover in 2008 transforming City into one of England’s most successful clubs.

City leads the standings by 14 points as it closes in on a third EPL title in four seasons. This month there is a semifinal against Chelsea in the FA Cup and a League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur for the holder.

The one major prize to elude City is the UEFA Champions League and De Bruyne scored one of the goals that secured a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their quarterfinal on Tuesday. A cross from the Professional Footballers’ Association’s 2020 player of the year also started the move for Phil Foden to score the winner at the Etihad Stadium.

Now De Bruyne, who has won seven trophies since joining City in 2015, is reported to be earning over 300,000 pounds a week.

“This football club is geared for success,” the Belgium international said. “It offers me everything I need to maximize my performance, so signing this contract was a straightforward decision. I am playing the best football of my career and I honestly feel there is more to come.

“Pep and I see football in the same way. Having that relationship with a manager is so important to me because our objectives are totally aligned, and we want the same things.”

Meanwhile, Dortmund’s late loss to City may have stretched its winless run to three matches in all competitions but the Germans are confident of their chances in the return leg.

Foden scored a last-minute winner for the English side on Tuesday after Dortmund had equalized some six minutes from time but for scorer and captain Marco Reus, the tie is still wide open.

“Had we returned home with a 1-1 then everyone would have been satisfied,” Reus said. “Now the feeling is not that good for us although we did a lot of things right.”

Dortmund is playing a disappointing domestic Bundesliga campaign and could miss out on next season’s UCL after dropping seven points off fourth place following Saturday’s 1-2 loss to direct rival Eintracht Frankfurt.

But success in Europe, especially against City, would go a long way towards rebuilding confidence in the team while also restoring ties with fans, fuming over top striker Erling Haaland’s representatives meeting with several top European clubs, including City, while the team struggles for form.


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