Chelsea reject Kevin De Bruyne, who has also been targeted this summer by the Premier League champions is on the verge of signing for Manchester City, according to reports.
As per the Mirror, the Citizens are on the brink of signing De Bruyne for a club-record fee of £56m, which will take their summer spending to over the £150m barrier. It is understood payments to the Belgian’s former club Genk and Chelsea are delaying the transfer but it will be concluded today, according to Wolfsburg’s Klauf Allofs.
The aforementioned source is now claiming today that De Bruyne has left the Braunschweig airport enroute Manchester for his medical with the Premier League-leading Blues. The Belgium international is now making a swift return to the English Premier League where he thinks he has unfinished business. The Mancunian Blues have now beaten Chelsea, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich to De Bruyne’s signature.
“We will complete everything either today or tomorrow,” Allofs told reporters yesterday.
“De Bruyne is off to Manchester City.
“I explained at the presser on Thursday that we have begun talks, those talks have progressed. Now only minor issues remain.”
The 24-year old was left out of the Wolfsburg squad that faced Schalke yesterday and the Bundesliga side defeated the Veltins Arena Landlords in De Bruyne’s absence. It is believed the player will earn £200,000 weekly wage at the Etihad, and also become the second most expensive British signing after Angel Di Maria who was signed for £59.7m by Manchester United last season.
De Bruyne won the Bundesliga player of the season last term, after registering 28 assists – the most in Europe’s top five leagues and scoring 16 goals. He moved to Wolfsburg from Chelsea in January 2014 after failing to cut it at Stamford Bridge. But the Blues could have moved to re-sign him, having seen his brilliant performances in the Bundesliga but the west London club seem to have other plans, as they signed Pedro instead.
Jose Mourinho’s side signed De Bruyne from Genk for £7m in 2012 and during two miserable years at the club, he managed only nine appearances and no goal. The Portuguese boss delivered a frank assessment of the Belgian this season, saying he did not have the stomach to fight for his place.
“He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he’s important. He did not want a team where he thinks: ‘Am I playing or not?’ He needs that trust. He needs that quality. He needs that security. So I was not happy when he left.
“He didn’t tell me he couldn’t handle the pressure he told me, he told me he wanted to play every weekend. I told him, ‘This is Chelsea, you are very young, you have Eden Hazard, you have Juan Mata, you have Willian, you have Andre Schürrle, and I cannot promise you that.”
De Bruyne’s fee will outstrip the £49m City paid Liverpool for Raheem Sterling in July. The Manchester club have also spent £32m on defender Nicolas Otamendi, £8m on Fabian Delph from Aston Villa, £6m on Patrick Roberts, and £2m on Enes Unal.
Now it is left to be seen whether Chelsea’s decision to not resign him will come back to haunt them, as City will be further strengthened with the arrival of De Bruyne.