Manchester United hasn’t been afraid to spend big during the summer, as the club aims to make a genuine challenge for the Premier League title. Key investments have been made in the transfer market, while new contracts are constantly under negotiation, as the Red Devils aim to build the best squad of players in English and European football. Heading into the 2021-22 campaign, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears confident his team can win trophies.
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After declaring his desire to leave Juventus, then almost joining Manchester City on the other side of town, Cristiano Ronaldo has made the headline grabbing return to Manchester United. There was no way the Red Devils could permit this prodigal son to join their fierce local rivals, which means they pulled out all the stops to make this deal happen.
Welcome 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, @Cristiano 🔴#MUFC | #Ronaldo
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
Sealing his return involved making Ronaldo the top earning player at Old Trafford, where the 36-year-old icon will be adored once again by United fans. His wages will also eclipse those of his colleagues, with the Portuguese superstar having signed a two-year deal estimated to be worth £26.52 per season, and that’s before even considering image rights and endorsements on top of that salary.
David de Gea
Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea originally joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid, just ahead of the 2011-12 season. Now in his eleventh season at Old Trafford, the 30-year-old is the highest paid player at the club, with his current contract set to run until June 2023, which also features the option to extend for a further year.
According to the most recently published accounts, De Gea is earning £19.5 million each season with Manchester United, which also makes him the most highly paid goalkeeper in the Premier League or for that matter, anywhere in the world. David certainly appears to have the most highly valued pair of hands in soccer.
When he switched from Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, skysports.com reported that Manchester United paid a fixed price of £73 million for Jadon Sancho, following more than a year haggling with the German club. The 21-year-old target had been one of their top transfer targets, which means the Red Devils were delighted to finally get their man.
There’s plenty more to come from @Sanchooo10 #MUFC | #SOUMUN pic.twitter.com/Hlt25qZkYu
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 22, 2021
21-year-old forward Sancho became the second-highest earner at the club, after signing a five-year deal with the option of an additional year. His contract is worth £18.2 million per season, which also makes him the third-highest paid player in the Premier League. Of course, Manchester United will be hoping to get a positive return on their huge investment.
Another new arrival at Old Trafford in the summer, bringing in a world-class central defender was regarded as a key priority. They don’t come any better than French international Raphaël Varane, who joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid for an initial fee of around £41 million, with further add-ons based on appearances and objectives met.
Varane has quite literally won everything there is to win, such as the World Cup with France and 18 club honours with Real Madrid, including four Champions League triumphs. Given his calibre and vast experience, the 28-year-old was always going to command a top salary, and at Manchester United he will earn £17.68 million each season until 2025.
All of the figures published are based on the latest spotrac.com data, which is renowned for accurately estimating player salaries. Based on current information for the 2021-22 season, Manchester United has the highest payroll of any squad in the Premier League. Their first team wage bill has reached almost £206 million per year in total, which is roughly £50 million higher than Chelsea and almost £70 million more than Manchester City.
However, these are also numbers published ahead of the summer 2021 transfer window closing, suggesting they could also change within the coming weeks, given that both Chelsea and Manchester City are expected to make further big-money signings. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that Manchester United will be surpassed in wage spending, even if their nearest rivals make further additions.