Saturday 21 April 2018

City blow as De Bruyne ruled out for 10 weeks

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne suffered ankle and knee injuries on Wednesday night (PA)
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne suffered ankle and knee injuries on Wednesday night (PA)

Jamie Holland

Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne faces 10 weeks out of action after damaging knee and ankle ligaments against Everton.

The Belgian suffered his double injury blow when his studs got caught in the grass late in Wednesday's League Cup semi-final second leg, having scored one of City's goals and set up another.

De Bruyne, who will miss the League Cup final against Liverpool as well as vital Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup games, wrote on Twitter: "Just got back from the specialist. I'll be out for around 10 weeks.

"I'll work hard on my recovery and hope to be back on the pitch asap. Thank you all for the supportive messages!"

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Chelsea players will suffer no financial hit if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, as the club brace themselves to pay the price for not playing in Europe's elite competition.

Unlike many of their rivals, Chelsea have not put clauses in the contracts of their players guarding against missing out on the Champions League.

It means that, while Chelsea will miss out on at least £40m, the club's huge wage bill will stay the same as players such as Eden Hazard, their top earner on £200,000 per week, remain on their full salaries.

The new Premier League television deal will soften the blow and should ensure that Chelsea can meet Financial Fair Play rules, but the club's wage bill without European football could impact on the level of spending they can undertake in the summer.

It could also be taken into consideration if Chelsea receive enormous bids for any star players, although nobody will be sold if the club are placed under a transfer embargo following FIFA's investigation into their signing of Bertrand Traore.

Diego Costa remains keen on a return to Spain, while Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will be targeted by Europe's richest clubs if, as expected, Chelsea miss out on Champions League qualification.

Chelsea have already started bringing money into the club through transfers this month, with a £20m-plus bid for Ramires from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning deemed too good to turn down and Newcastle target Loic Remy edging towards the exit door.

The Stamford Bridge club could move for another striker, in addition to loan signing Alexandre Pato.

While many of the top Premier League and European clubs have moved to an incentive-based wage system, Chelsea have stuck to a more straightforward model, with players receiving bonuses only for winning trophies, rather than receiving performance-related cash boosts.

The club's wage bill for the year to June 2015 was the highest in the Premier League at £215.6m after they paid out bonuses for winning the title and the League Cup.

The club's model means that their players get paid the same whether they finish third or 13th, where they currently lie, if they do not win a cup.

A source who deals with the finances of a number of top Premier League and European footballers revealed that it is now often the case that wages can drop by as much as 20 per cent for failure to qualify for the Champions League, but not at Chelsea.

The club received a cash boost at the end of the last transfer window, when they recouped around £10m as part of De Bruyne's move from Wolfsburg to Manchester City, thanks to a sell-on clause inserted by director Marina Granovskaia.

The Blues would also be due add-on payments if Everton were to sell Romelu Lukaku .

Irish Independent

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