Manchester United's new manager could face an instant problem when he moves to Old Trafford.
Manchester United midfielder Adnan Januzaj is earning more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were at the same age.
The winger’s rise to fame in the United squad this season saw the Old Trafford side get him tied down on a new long term contract quickly, before another side could convince him to leave Manchester.
“I can only say that he is the highest paid young player in the world. At 18, he has a larger contract than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi at that age. That really says a lot and I'm very proud of that,” Dirk De Vriese told Sport/Voetbalmagazine.
That deal gives the next United boss who walks into Old Trafford, most likely Louis van Gaal, a big problem.
United have set the benchmark in terms of contracts this season with Januzaj and later Wayne Rooney.
On both counts, the club put the players on very good deals, above market value in order to get the players to stay.
If Van Gaal is appointed as United’s next boss then Januzaj could put him in a difficult position on two counts over the course of the next couple of seasons.
The signings that the new boss makes this summer could cause the wage bill to escalate because any logically thinking agent will demand an above market wage deal for his client.
Secondly, when the issue of Januzaj’s renewal comes around for the next manager, his bargaining position will be non-existent if the player continues to improve at a rapid rate.
If Januzaj doesn’t develop, United have more grounds to downgrade his contract but if he shows the potential that his talent promises, he’ll be asking for an enormous deal.
Fortunately for Manchester United, the sponsorship and advertising deals the club have in place all over the world mean they can cope financially next season and beyond.
However, that doesn’t mean United should keep creating above market value wage deals.