Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best midfielder in the world, a status the Belgian has held for over the last five years. That popularity has made him stand out with Manchester City, and it has made him the dream signing for various clubs across the globe. Few would be able to compete with Manchester City financially, which is why he is the best-paid player in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe.

Yet, Saudi Arabia can offer De Bruyne more money than any other league in the world. Clubs under the Saudi Public Investment ownership have offered star players massive contracts to persuade them to come to the Middle East. Last summer, Saudi Arabia offered De Bruyne $75.7 million per year to play soccer in the Saudi Pro League. He declined, but the prospect of joining the league is real. He has one year left on his contract at Manchester City.

Despite the desire to sign a new contract with the Sky-Blue side of Manchester, there have been no talks between the player and the club’s executives. Despite his inarguable talent at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City does not dive straight into contract renewals with players approaching their mid-30s. This summer, De Bruyne is turning 33, which means any contract extension would keep him at the club until he is 35 or 36.

Manchester City’s hesitation

The Athletic noted Manchester City has not been overly consistent with giving players in their 30s new contracts. Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez both received new contracts as the club felt their output would not change as they aged. Yet, Ilkay Gundogan, who had several major injuries during his lengthy spell in Manchester, was seen as a risk because of his genetic makeup. According to The Athletic, City put its sentiment to the side to not sign Gundogan to a new contract, despite the German lifting the trophy each time when City won the treble last season.

That is Manchester City’s concern with De Bruyne. The hamstring injury that sidelined the midfielder for 29 games this campaign was a reoccurrence of an injury he picked up during the UEFA Champions League Final at the end of the 2022/23 season. It is a matter of age that players suffer from recurring injuries more frequently when they get older. Manchester City does not want to pay the star so much if he will not play.

De Bruyne could join the Saudi Pro League or MLS

The Saudi Pro League will be lying in the wake ready to scoop De Bruyne should he feel disrespected. Or, the Belgian may want to conclude his career by making extreme quantities of money before retiring. From a player’s perspective, De Bruyne has already won everything possible at a team level. A five-time Premier League winner and League Cup champion who has also won a pair of FA Cups, De Bruyne has nothing more to prove in England. He is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League era, and his trophy cabinet proves so much.

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If De Bruyne does want more competitive play than the Saudi Pro League, MLS presents a possibility. The Belgian has not been one for the spotlight like some others in European soccer. However, opting to join Major League Soccer could allow his brand to grow while making good money, even if it does not compare to wages on offer in Saudi Arabia.