Kevin de Bruyne’s contract negotiations with his club Manchester City has made headlines all over the world in this past week, note Diario AS. The Belgian midfielder has taken the reins of his career more firmly and assertively than anyone before, commissioning a data firm to break down with finite detail the value he brings to Pep Guardiola’s team.
De Bruyne negotiated with City alongside his father, his lawyer and two members of his agency, RocNation. But the difference between him and other footballers was that his team didn’t direct the negotiation, he did. His advisers were there to advise and nothing more. The Belgian was confident that his value to the team and the level of his performance has increased since the last time they sat down to discuss terms.
He couldn’t point to goals, as his talents lie a step back in the creative process, so he used statistics, hiring the company Analytics FC to use Big Data to profile his skillset, and also compare him to other players. City were evidently sold by what was presented, giving De Bruyne a contract extension until 2025 and a 30% salary increase, to about €445,000 per week, that sees him become the best paid player in the Premier League.
The rest of European football unsurprisingly followed the negotiation closely, and it’s set to change the way the elite of the elite, like Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga, negotiate new deals with their most important players. Notable heading into a summer where two of Spanish football’s biggest characters, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, are out of contract.