EPL: You’ll end up paying ‘Messi wage’ – Gary Neville warns Chelsea


Manchester United legend, Gary Neville, has warned Chelsea that they may still have to pay their recently signed youngsters wages similar to that of Lionel Messi despite their policy of handing them long-term contracts.

Chelsea recently spent about £323 million in transfer fees to sign eight players during the January transfer window.

Nearly all of the new signings have been signed on extra lengthy contracts.

The likes of Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernandez have been handed eight-and-a-half-year contracts while Benoit Badiashile was given a seven-and-a-half-year deal.

But Neville believes that lengthy deals don’t guarantee Chelsea the financial luxury of paying their recently signed players low wages for a long period of time.

The former defender cited the example of Mudryk, 22, as he said on his podcast: “Let’s say Mykhailo becomes a Lionel Messi in four years and Chelsea would sit here today and say, ‘We have got him locked down for another four years on a lower wage.

“I don’t care whether he’s got four years left on his contract or not, Mudryk will kick off, his agent will kick off, he will down tools and say, ‘I want more money.’

“You will end up paying the Messi wage, or you will have a very unhappy player for the last four years who will feel he’s been exploited because he signed an eight-year contract at the age of 22.

“In football, in this country, with players coming particularly from international soil, I do not see how an eight-year contract can be honoured if the player progresses into something far greater than he is today.”