Kevin de Bruyne saved himself over £ 8million by negotiating his new Manchester City contract himself.
De Bruyne, 29, has signed a four-year contract which could earn him nearly £ 400,000 a week, when bonuses and trade rights are included.
The total package is expected to cost City around £ 83million – and De Bruyne won’t be forced to pay the usual 10% agency fee after choosing to go through with the deal himself following a dispute legal with his former adviser Patrick De Koster.
De Koster is under police investigation after De Bruyne’s father Herwig discovered a number of alleged financial discrepancies last year.
Video: Guardiola ‘delighted’ with De Bruyne contract extension (Mirror)
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De Bruyne senior enlisted the services of a team of legal experts from Brussels law firm Altius to finalize the small details with City after his son agreed to his own salary package.
Belgian lawyer Sven Demeulemeester and foreign tax expert Daan Buylaert are sports specialists.
Altius charges £ 500 an hour for its services – so the final bill to De Bruyne for 100 hours of work was £ 50,000.
All negotiations between City and Altius were done through a Zoom link due to the ongoing pandemic.
De Bruyne’s use of data analysis to illustrate its value to the club was vital during the discussions.
But it was only after City halted their attempt to bring in Lionel Messi from Barcelona at the end of the season that they agreed to respond to the player’s salary demands.
De Bruyne initially turned down his club’s opening offer after talks started last December.