Man Utd introduce 'Ronaldo rule' as Ten Hag makes major dressing room change

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Erik ten Hag wants to see the back of Cristiano Ronaldo-level wages (Image: PA)
Erik ten Hag wants to see the back of Cristiano Ronaldo-level wages (Image: PA)

Manchester United will introduce a salary cap of £200,000 per week to ensure that there's no bad blood in the Old Trafford dressing room when it comes to wages, it's claimed.

The Red Devils are set to implement the 'Ronaldo rule' after United waved goodbye to their Portuguese megastar and his £480,000-a-week contract in November after months of behind-the-scenes unrest. Chief executive Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and manager Erik ten Hag have devised the strategy in an effort to move away from a culture of jealousy within the team.

According to the Sunday Mail, no player will earn more than £200,0000 per week and the long-serving David de Gea is first in line to be affected. The 32-year-old goalkeeper is understood to have accepted a significant wage cut on his soon-to-expire £375,000-a-week deal in order to stay at Old Trafford beyond the summer.

The cost-cutting rule will also impact a host of players approaching the end of their current contracts. Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot and Fred were all due to be free agents this June before the Red Devils triggered one-year extension clauses in the quartet's respective deals last month.

But with each of them set to enter negotiations over fresh terms in the next 18 months, United will hold firm and not offer any of them outlandish wages - a bold move in Rashford's case, as potential suitors Paris Saint-Germain would be willing to double his salary.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash rriqudirriezinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

The report adds that stars such as Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro are already in the pay bracket £180,000 to £200,000 pay bracket, with sanctions in place if the Red Devils were to fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Have your say! Is this a wise move from Man Utd? Join the debate in the comments section.

Man Utd introduce 'Ronaldo rule' as Ten Hag makes major dressing room changeDavid de Gea is prepared to take a pay cut in order to stay at Man Utd

It's a far cry from when Ed Woodward ran the show at Old Trafford, as the former executive vice-chairman was renowned for handing out eye-watering contracts which caused disparity amongst the squad. De Gea has struggled to justify his salary since signing a new deal in 2019 and Cristiano Ronaldo himself produced poor performances earlier in the campaign before being let go.

United's most recent annual wage bill was estimated to have been worth a whopping £228million, the highest in the Premier League. Ten Hag isn't interested in his club boasting that tag again, especially if the players earning the big bucks aren't producing the goods like in years past.

Man Utd introduce 'Ronaldo rule' as Ten Hag makes major dressing room changeMarcus Rashford is set to hold talks with Man Utd over a new contract (Getty Images)

"The club has bought an unimaginable number of players in recent years who have not been good enough," the Dutchman recently admitted in an interview with VI Magazine. "Most purchases have been average - and at United average is not good enough. United's shirt weighs heavily. Only real personalities, who can perform under great pressure, can play here.

"We needed personalities. That's why the acquisition of Casemiro was so important. Along with Raphael Varane, we now have a second player who has experience of winning titles.

"[Tyrell] Malacia, [Lisandro] Martinez, Casemiro, Antony are all fighters, while Christian Eriksen is a technical winner and a great personality. We want the best of the best. Any players we bring to Manchester United must meet the highest standard."

Nathan Ridley

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation