Kevin De Bruyne’s agent has said that he plans to use Neymar’s contract as a basis for negotiating the midfielder’s position with Manchester City.

The agent, Patrick De Koster, was speaking to Radio CRC in Italy when he said that he plans to use Neymar’s £32 million a year salary as the starting point for negotiations over De Bruyne.

He said, “In the coming months I’ll meet with City to figure out how to improve and extend his contract. His salary? I cannot say. But if you think what Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are being paid, you can picture.”

De Bruyne has been a key part of Manchester City’s success this season and he played a role in all but two of the team’s seven goals against Stoke last weekend. He is currently two years into his six-year contract at City as is worth £6 million a year after his move from Wolfsburg in 2015.

City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has called De Bruyne “the best player in Europe bar one”. He has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or but De Koster thinks that he is unlikely to win it while rivals such as Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are still at their best.

“He can’t expect to win the Ballon d’Or at the moment, he’s still far from footballers like Messi and CR7,” De Koster said. “Everything will depend on how much he can achieve with City, there’s still a big difference now.”

Speaking after City’s win over Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday De Bruyne said, “My agent went already one time to Txiki (Begiristain, director of football). Talks are coming. I’m patient anyway, I don’t stress. I think I read something in the press but I have time.”