LONDON - Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the highest-paid player in the Premier League on £367 640 a week when he moved to Manchester United last summer.
Astonishing details of the contracts agreed between United and agent Mino Raiola for Ibrahimovic were revealed in a book published in Germany on Tuesday.
It has also emerged that Raiola will be paid over £41 million after bringing Pogba to United from Juventus for a world record £89m transfer fee.
Fans will be fascinated by the huge figures which are divulged in Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football, based on the research of Der Spiegel journalists Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger..
In addition to his £19m-a-year salary, Ibrahimovic also secured a bonus of £2.86m for scoring 28 goals in his first year in England.
However, the knee injury he suffered in the Europa League against Anderlecht last month may cost him the guarantee of a second year at Old Trafford.
It is claimed that the contract extension would only have been triggered if Ibrahimovic had made 31 Premier League starts — he fell short on 27 — and United finished in the top three.
The 35-year-old Swede had knee surgery last week and could be out of action until 2018. United are open to the idea of the striker doing his rehabilitation with them but it remains to be seen if he plays for United again.
Signing Ibrahimovic on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain enabled United to offer him such generous personal terms.
Pogba, on the other hand, cost a record fee when he returned to Old Trafford and his deal is structured rather differently.
The Frenchman’s £165,000-a-week basic salary may seem modest in comparison to those of some of the world’s top players but there are substantial incentives built into an exhaustive 41-page contract, particularly if United qualify for the Champions League.
As Jose Mourinho’s side prepare to face Celta Vigo at home on Thursday for a place in the Europa League final, Pogba has good reason to want to win the trophy.
His basic wage would rise by £1.875m a year and his commercial rights would go up from £2.87m to £3.125m. From next season, he is also due a loyalty bonus which starts at just under £3.5m, and there are a raft of other incentives that would elevate him among world football’s highest earners.
Unlike Ibrahimovic, Pogba has struggled to live up to expectations at times this season.
Arguably the biggest beneficiary from last summer’s transfer dealings at Old Trafford is Raiola.
The Italian agent’s earnings from the Pogba deal alone are said to be over £41m — a near £23m slice of the transfer fee and five instalments totalling £16.39m from United over the course of his five-year contract until 2020. It is also claimed that the club paid £2.2m owed by Pogba to Raiola’s Monaco-based agency Uuniqq SARL.
When the figures were put to United, the club said that they do not comment on their contractual arrangements. They are all the more startling given that the defeat at Arsenal on Sunday has all but killed off their hopes of a top-four finish.
Failure to reach the Champions League could cost the club as much as £65m in lost television revenue and prize money. United would also forfeit more than £20m of their £750m kit deal with adidas.
That figure has been partly offset by an automatic cut in the players’ salaries for not playing in the Champions League this season and a larger than expected share of the Europa League television revenue.
More importantly, United’s latest financial figures due out next week are predicted to show record revenue of £540m and profits of £180m.
Just what Sir Alex Ferguson, the man who tried to persuade Pogba not to leave United for Juventus in 2012 for £850,000, would think of it all is anyone’s guess.
Monday marked the fourth anniversary of Ferguson’s announcement that he was stepping down as manager after 26 years in charge at Old Trafford.
During his later years at the club, the Scot would often say there was no value in the transfer market. He also had a frosty relationship with Raiola.
As the jaw-dropping earnings of United’s stars are revealed and his old club face finishing outside the top four for the third time in four years, Ferguson might conclude that he had a point.
Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football by Der Spiegel’s Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger will be published in Germany on Thursday.