Pep Guardiola backtracked on an interview earlier this week to deny Kevin de Bruyne’s contract contains a €250m release clause, according to the Irish Examiner.
The Manchester City manager claimed his words were misunderstood in an interview given to the Spanish media earlier this week.
Speaking ahead of his side’s meeting with Fulham, Guardiola said:
“I don’t know what his release clause is. The journalist asked if we’d sell him for €250m and I said no. But that is my personal opinion. Here in England there are not release clauses. You have to negotiate with the club.”
With Real Madrid letting it be known they have £330m to spend, Guardiola’s caution is easily understood.
The Catalan went on to declare that he doesn’t believe there is a release clause in de Bruyne’s contract. It’s an unusual situation in English football; most players don’t have the clauses in their contracts despite their common use in the rest of the world.
De Bruyne, 27, recently signed a new five-year deal to keep him at the Etihad until 2023. At present, he is out of the side injured and is unlikely to play before the October international break.
He’s not the only City player to be negotiating a new deal. Raheem Sterling, 23, reportedly wants a £100k per week pay increase but the deal is yet to be struck. Guardiola reiterated his desire to keep the England international at the club:
“It’s well-known we’re delighted with him and would like that to continue. My club knows my opinion about that and we share that.
“After that, it is the club and the agent and I am outside that. Sometimes this kind of thing needs its own time.”