Manchester United have long had one of the largest wage bills in the Premier League, with their £384 million ($502m) salary costs in 2021/22 representing a record for the English top flight.
Marcus Rashford is among their most important players and his status is likely to be reflected in a new contract. According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, the England international has agreed in principle to a new five-year deal at Old Trafford — one that will see him become one of the league’s top earners, even though he has reportedly turned down the chance of higher wages elsewhere.
But the 20-time champions of England do not have a monopoly on the highest-earning players in the division, and the departure of long-serving goalkeeper David de Gea also ended his spell as United’s best-paid squad member among the stars amassing the largest fortunes each week.
Reigning champions Manchester City are said to have as many earners among the top 10 as their nearest rivals, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are not far behind.
Which players earn the most, which clubs pay the most and what is the average wage? Here are some of the figures.
Highest-paid Premier League players: Who earns the most?
Man City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne earns the most of any Premier League player, according to football finances website Capology, which puts 2022/23 top scorer Erling Haaland is second on the list.
United pair Casemiro and Jadon Sancho earned slightly less than De Gea, who was immediately behind Haaland in the wage rankings before announcing his exit.
Three-time Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah and United defender Raphael Varane are behind Sancho, with two former City players — Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling and Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus — either side of Cityzens playmaker Jack Grealish.
Rashford at the moment is equal 18th, although he will presumably climb this list should he finalise his contract extension at United.
|1.||Kevin De Bruyne||Man City||£400,000 ($523,000)||£20.8m ($27.2m)|
|2.||Erling Haaland||Man City||£375,000 ($491,000)||£19.5m ($25.5m)|
|3.||Casemiro||Man United||£350,000 ($458,000)||£18.2m ($23.8m)|
|=||Jadon Sancho||Man United||£350,000 ($458,000)||£18.2m ($23.8m)|
|=||Mohamed Salah||Liverpool||£350,000 ($458,000)||£18.2m ($23.8m)|
|6||Raphael Varane||Man United||£340,000 ($445,000)||£17.7m ($23.2m)|
|7||Raheem Sterling||Chelsea||£325,000 ($425,000)||£16.9m ($22.1m)|
|8||Jack Grealish||Man City||£300,000 ($393,000)||£15.6m ($20.4m)|
|9||Gabriel Jesus||Arsenal||£265,000 ($347,000)||£13.8m ($18.1m)|
|10.||Reece James||Chelsea||£250,000 ($327,000)||£13m ($17m)|
|=||Kai Havertz||Arsenal||£250,000 ($327,000)||£13m ($17m)|
|=||Anthony Martial||Man United||£250,000 ($327,000)||£13m ($17m)|
|=||John Stones||Man City||£250,000 ($327,000)||£13m ($17m)|
|14.||Bruno Fernandes||Man United||£240,000 ($314,000)||£12.5m ($16.4m)|
|15.||Phil Foden||Man City||£225,000 ($294,000)||£11.7m ($15.3m)|
|16.||Rodri||Man City||£220,000 ($288,000)||£11.4m ($14.9m)|
|=||Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool||£220,000 ($288,000)||£11.4m ($14.9m)|
|18.||Thiago||Liverpool||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Wesley Fofana||Chelsea||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Ben Chilwell||Chelsea||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Thomas Partey||Arsenal||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Antony||Man United||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Marcus Rashford||Man United||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|=||Harry Kane||Tottenham||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
*Above figures from Capology, based on the 2022/23 season
Which Premier League clubs pay the biggest wages?
Last year, Man United were said to be the Premier League club to pay the most in wages.
Liverpool were the next-highest payers to United and slightly ahead of City and Chelsea in 2022, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire.
Arsenal punched above their wage-bill weight by challenging for the title in 2022/23, but they have recently invested in some of the Premier League’s highest earners in the likes of Jesus, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice.
At the other end of the scale, Brentford challenged for European qualification despite being among the lowest payers in the division, and newly promoted Luton Town and Sheffield United are likely to have by far the lowest bills when the 2023/24 season starts.
Leicester City are said to have had a record wage bill for a relegated Premier League club of £182 million ($238m) when they dropped out of the Premier League at the end of 2022/23.
|Club||Average weekly wage|
|Man United||£178,554 ($233,276)|
|Man City||£164,423 ($214,844)|
|Newcastle United||£79,099 ($103,334)|
|Aston Villa||£63,670 ($83,157)|
|West Ham United||£63,066 ($82,368)|
|Crystal Palace||£57,549 ($75,163)|
|Leeds United||£56,420 ($73,688)|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||£53,566 ($69,946)|
|Nottingham Forest||£38,945 ($50,950)|
|Sheffield United||£12,317 ($16,144)|
|Luton Town||£5,791 ($7,575)|
*Figures from @KieranMaguire
Premier League club top earners
Only six clubs are said to pay their highest earner less than £100,000 ($131,000) a week, with England internationals Reece James, Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane on the list of the best-paid individuals at their clubs.
Arsenal’s investment in Gabriel Jesus was rewarded with a direct involvement in 18 goals in 2022/23 from the Brazil forward, who signed from City before the start of the season and missed a chunk of the campaign with a knee injury he sustained at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The newly promoted clubs are thought to pay their top earners at least £15,000 ($20,000) less than anyone else — a situation that could change as they bolster their squads in their attempts to stay up and reward some of the players who won them promotion with new deals.
One example of that came before 2022/23, when Nottingham Forest gave former United attacker Jesse Lingard a one-year deal that was reported to have earned him close to £200,000 ($262,000) a week. Lingard left the City Ground at the end of the season.
|Arsenal||Gabriel Jesus||£265,000 ($347,000)||£13.8m ($18.1m)|
|Aston Villa||Lucas Digne||£160,000 ($209,000)||£8.3m ($10.9m)|
|Bournemouth||Jefferson Lerma||£55,000 ($72,000)||£2.9m ($3.8m)|
|Brentford||Ben Mee||£55,000 ($72,000)||£2.9m ($3.8m)|
|Brighton||Adam Lallana||£90,000 ($118,000)||£4.7m ($6.2m)|
|Burnley||Josh Brownhill||£40,000 ($52,000)||£2.1m ($2.7m)|
|Chelsea||Reece James||£250,000 ($327,000)||£13m ($17m)|
|Crystal Palace||Wilfried Zaha||£130,000 ($170,000)||£6.8m ($8.9m)|
|Everton||Jordan Pickford||£125,000 ($164,000)||£6.5m ($8.5m)|
|Fulham||Bernd Leno||£90,000 ($118,000)||£4.7m ($6.2m)|
|Liverpool||Mohamed Salah||£350,000 ($458,000)||£18.2m ($23.8m)|
|Luton||Marvelous Nakamba||£30,000 ($39,000)||£1.6m ($2.1m)|
|Man City||Kevin De Bruyne||£400,000 ($523,000)||£20.8m ($27.2m)|
|Man United||Casemiro||£350,000 ($458,000)||£18.2m ($23.8m)|
|Newcastle United||Kieran Trippier||£120,000 ($157,000)||£6.2m ($8.1m)|
|Nottingham Forest||Dean Henderson||£100,000 ($131,000)||£5.2m ($6.8m)|
|Sheffield United||Sander Berge||£33,000 ($43,000)||£1.7m ($2.2m)|
|Tottenham||Harry Kane||£200,000 ($262,000)||£10.4m ($13.6m)|
|West Ham United||Lucas Paqueta||£150,000 ($196,000)||£7.8m ($10.2m)|
|Wolves||Raul Jimenez||£100,000 ($131,000)||£5.2m ($6.8m)|
Average Premier League salary
The average basic salary for a first-team Premier League player was around £3.6m ($4.7m) before the World Cup, according to Off the Pitch.
The report noted that elite players in England now receive more than their counterparts at any of Europe’s other major leagues.
Pay has rocketed in recent years. In 2010, Maguire said players earned an average of around £1.7m ($2.2m), which had more than doubled to around £3.8m ($5m) a decade later.
— Kieran Maguire (@KieranMaguire) April 11, 2023
Lowest-paid Premier League players
There are some surprises among the players listed by Capology as earning the lowest wages in the Premier League.
Several are unlikely to remain on the list for long. Manchester City are expected to agree a vastly improved long-term deal with right-back Rico Lewis following the 18-year-old’s impressive displays in 2022/23, in which he played throughout three of their final four Premier League matches and scored his first UEFA Champions League goal.
Centre-back Jan Paul van Hecke was marking Erling Haaland when Lewis and City visited Brighton in their final away game, and Levi Colwill also had an excellent season on loan to the Seagulls from Chelsea. The defender is reportedly a target for several of Chelsea’s rivals after winning the Euro Under-21s with England in July.
Left-back Lewis Hall played all but nine minutes of Chelsea’s final four Premier League games of the season, making nine league appearances in total during the campaign.
|Rico Lewis||Man City||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Joe Hodge||Wolves||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Jan Paul van Hecke||Brighton||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Louie Moulden||Wolves||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Hugo Bueno||Wolves||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Fin Stevens||Brentford||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Anthony Elanga||Man United||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Levi Colwill||Chelsea||£5,000 ($6,500)||£260,000 ($340,000)|
|Lewis Hall||Chelsea||£7,000 ($9,000)||£364,000 ($476,000)|
|Tyrese Francois||Fulham||£7,000 ($9,000)||£364,000 ($476,000)|
|Brandon Austin||Tottenham||£7,000 ($9,000)||£390,000 ($510,000)|
|Alfie Whiteman||Tottenham||£7,000 ($9,000)||£390,000 ($510,000)|
*Above figures from Capology, based on the 2022/23 season