Gary Neville baffled by ‘Ronaldo rule’ as new Man Utd policy ‘rules out’ Mbappe transfer

Gary Neville looks annoyed Credit: Alamy
Gary Neville looks annoyed Credit: Alamy

Gary Neville has taken aim at Manchester United after his former club introduced a ‘Ronaldo rule’ at Old Trafford.

Manager Erik ten Hag wants salaries to be capped at £200,000 a week and has agreed the rule with chief executive Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough.

They have made the call on the back of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was on £500,000 a week, leaving the club.

The report claims they want to ‘avoid a culture of dressing-room jealousy’ which sees some players paid far more than others.

But Neville isn’t convinced by the timing of the ‘Ronaldo rule’ implementation, or what the new policy will mean for his former club in the transfer market under new ownership.

Neville tweeted: ‘Not sure why any radical new policy is being introduced IF new owners are imminent.’

Replying to a fan who suggested that the rule should be introduced regardless of ownership, Neville continued: ‘Should it? [Manchester] City had it until [Erling] Haaland and others came in!

‘Capping wages is a radical policy. Rules out [Declan] Rice, [Jude] Bellingham and others in that bracket. Any new owners would probably want to enter the running for these types and probably [Kylian] Mbappe as well. 200k won’t get you Rice or Bellingham let alone Mbappe!’

After a summer which saw Casemiro added to a list of players earning over £200,000 a week, Neville added: ‘Seems a strange policy when you have Casemiro, others on 350/400k for 4 more years in the dressing room!’

The first player likely to be impacted by the new legislation is David de Gea, whose £375,000 a week deal runs out in the summer.

The Spaniard will be offered a ‘take it or leave it’ deal which will see him fall under the £200,000 a week mark.

While the new rule will reduce the annual wage bill, which currently stands at £228million — the highest in the Premier League – it could cause problems both when trying to sign new players and tieing current stars to new deals.

For instance, United are said to be ‘frontrunners’ to sign Joao Felix on loan for Atletico Madrid, but would have to pay the Portugal international’s wages, which are around £260,000 a week.

It could also be an issue when trying to sign Marcus Rashford to a new deal.

The England international’s contract is up in 18 months and Paris Saint-Germain, among others, are reportedly willing to offer much improved wages to lure him from Old Trafford.

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