Kevin De Bruyne signs £63m Manchester City deal – but Raheem Sterling talks on hold until the summer

Kevin De Bruyne has agreed a new contract worth more than £65million to commit his future to Manchester City until 2025 but talks with Raheem Sterling over fresh terms are on hold until the summer. 

De Bruyne, 29, negotiated his new deal himself without an agent and will receive a pay rise on his £300,000-a-week contract that had two years to run. Earlier this week it was revealed in City’s accounts they had overtaken Manchester United for salaries in 2020 with an increased wage bill of £351million.

It is seen as money well invested to get De Bruyne to play at the Etihad Stadium during his peak, where he is poised to add a third Premier League title to his collection in the next month.  

The Belgium midfielder was satisfied with the direction the club is moving, having previously shown concern when the potential of a Champions League ban loomed. Victory over Uefa in the Court of Arbitration for Sport plus Pep Guardiola’s contract extension meant the pieces were in place for him to stay at City. 

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

“This football club is geared for success. It offers me everything I need to maximise my performance. I am playing the best football of my career and I honestly feel there is more to come.”

With De Bruyne’s future confirmed, City also have Fernandinho’s future in the in-tray ahead of him becoming a free agent in the summer. John Stones has a year left and will get a new deal. 

Sterling has two years left on his contract which is a tricky time for clubs but he is set to focus on winning his place back in Guardiola’s before opening talks on a new deal. He has not started a Premier League game in a month. 

Like De Bruyne, Sterling has recently left his long-term agent and is currently not represented by an intermediary. De Bruyne has led the way in self-representation, using Belgian lawyer Daan Buylaert of legal firm Tiberghien to look at paperwork but negotiating himself and no agent fees were paid. He also presented data analysis of his contribution to the team in the context of his value in the transfer market. 

Other significant factors included his family being settled in Manchester, where his children go to school and nursery. 

“This is a very significant moment for this football club,” said City director of football Txiki Begiristain. It was also revealed in City’s accounts that they could pay £158million in “transfer fees, signing-on fees and loyalty bonuses” depending on performance targets getting met.    

ANALYSIS: The Premier League’s best midfielder commits his prime years to the Etihad

WHAT HAS BEEN AGREED? 

It was announced this morning that Kevin De Bruyne has agreed a two-year extension to his contract, which was set to expire in two more full seasons. His new deal takes him to 2025 meaning he will spend his peak years at the Etihad Stadium. De Bruyne has received a pay rise from the £300,000 he was previously receiving, making the total package worth more than £65million over the course of the deal. He will be City’s highest earner and among the best paid in the Premier League. 

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE DEAL? 

De Bruyne did not use an intermediary to negotiate his deal. He has parted company with Patrick De Koster, who has negotiated his previous deals. De Koster, of J&S International Football Management, was the subject of a police investigation in Belgium last year. De Bruyne is represented by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for his commercial deals but used the help of Belgian lawyer Daan Buylaert to finalise paperwork. The deal was agreed last week with the formalities including interviews completed on Monday. 

WILL HE END HIS CAREER AT CITY? 

The Belgian will be 34 years old when the deal expires. De Bruyne’s family is settled in Manchester, where his children go to school and nursery, and that was a factor in him deciding to commit his future. He has one eye on business opportunities in America so the MLS is a possibility later in his career, possibly with New York City FC who are under the same ownership as City. Heading back to Belgium is another option but City will get his best years.   

WILL MORE CITY PLAYERS SIGN DEALS?

City tend to do player contracts in the first half of the season so the squad focuses on winning trophies after Christmas. In the inbox of sporting director, Txiki Begiristain is Fernandinho’s extension. John Stones is also set to land a new deal and Raheem Sterling has two years left on his deal but will wait until the summer to hold talks over an extension. Pep Guardiola’s new deal was a big breakthrough for future planning although Sergio Aguero will leave the club.  

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