Uncertainty over Manchester United’s participation in next season’s Champions League has seen Paul Pogba and David de Gea both demand huge pay rises.
The Red Devils were knocked out of Europe’s elite competition in midweek as Barcelona crushed them 3-0 at the Nou Camp to secure a comfortable 4-0 aggregate victory.
Their hopes to have another pop at Champions League glory next season have taken a hit after an alarming run of form in the Premier League has seen them drop out of the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who have lost twice in their last four league games, are currently sixth in the top flight, two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with just five games of the season remaining.
And failure to qualify for the elite European club competition would see every United player have their basic salary reduced by a whopping 25 per cent.
This was the case when they last missed out on Champions League qualification before Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2016.
The Times have claimed that Pogba and De Gea have got wind of this situation, leading them to demand a huge pay hike amid fears United will miss out on a top-four spot.
Pogba is on a £290,000-a-week deal and has two years left to run on his current contract at Old Trafford.
The midfielder has, however, been linked with a summer switch to Real Madrid and there is a strong possibility that he could leave United for the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile goalkeeper De Gea, who has endured a tough time on the pitch of late, has been locked in talks over a new contract for some time now.
The Spain international is looking for an improvement on his current £200,000-a-week deal, and his representatives are agitating for a higher basic salary.
Real Madrid are also keen on De Gea, and the Spanish giants could use this latest saga to their advantage.