Manchester City have reportedly annoyed Kevin De Bruyne by offering him less money than he is currently earning in a new contract discussions, and Lionel Messi is believed to be the reason.
The Belgium has long been tipped to sign a new bumper deal in England, but the latest rumours appear to suggest those negotiations have stalled.
The Times reported De Bruyne felt disappointed by the Citizens’ first offer, while The Athletic stating that he was, in fact, offered less in wages than he is currently earning.
This is reportedly because the club is still eager to move for FC Barcelona superstar Messi, who could leave the Catalans for free at the end of the season should he not extend his stay in Spain before then.
It is claimed that the Premier League giants are therefore holding back funds as they aim to convince the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to join them ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
De Bruyne has contributed to 161 goals in 240 matches since his arrival at the club from Wolfsburg, and will see his current deal expire in 2023.
See below where De Bruyne ranks among the best-paid midfielders in the Premier League: