Consider the $60,000 figure next to David Villa’s name in Monday’s MLS Players Union list a placeholder. The Spanish striker will be making far more when he suits up for expansion side New York City FC next year.
SI.com understands that Villa, 32, will earn an annual base salary of approximately $6 million under a contract that will keep him in New York through the 2017 season. He’s on loan to Australian club Melbourne City, which is controlled by the same City Football Group that owns the majority of NYCFC. Its A-League season begins Oct. 11.
Villa will be the fourth current MLS player making $6 million in base salary, according to MLSPU figures. Toronto FC is paying Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe $6 million each and Orlando City will spend a record $6.66 million on Kaká next season. Villa’s annual compensation will exceed $6 million once a marketing addendum and other bonuses are added. Kaká’s contract, for example, is worth some $7.17 million per season, according to the MLSPU.
It’s not clear why Villa is listed at $60,000, but it’s likely related to the structure of his contract. He very well could have signed a deal that pays him the vast majority of his wages during the three years he’s scheduled to play for NYCFC. It’s not known whether Melbourne City or City Football Group is supplementing Villa’s wages while he’s in Australia.
It’s also unclear why NYCFC’s other big-name signing, English midfielder Frank Lampard, isn’t listed on the MLSPU rolls. Lampard, 36, signed with NYCFC in late July, seven weeks after Villa was unveiled. He currently is on loan with Manchester City, where he has scored four goals in four appearances.
NYCFC has four more players under contract: midfielders Jeb Brovsky ($115,000 base salary) and Andrew Jacobson ($180,000), defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe ($55,000) and goalkeeper Josh Saunders ($48,504).