Will City get their man in Kevin de Bruyne?
By Paul Stewart, Sun 23 August 2015 18:50
Belgian midfielder strongly linked with move to Manchester
It is a fact that people in Manchester are some of the best gamblers, but would they really want to place their hard-earned cash on Belgian star Kevin de Bruyne making a move to the Citizens? The sensible answer would probably be ‘no’, especially as this reputation is based on a keen understanding of the odds and a strong instinct. Despite this, there remains a growing sense that City may break the resolve of Wolfsburg with a big enough offer and that de Bruyne could yet be in Manchester before the end of the summer window.
The latest development unfolded at an awards ceremony last weekend, when the Wolfsburg midfielder was asked to make an impromptu statement about his future while up on stage. While de Bruyne responded directly by saying that he would “definitely play this season at Wolfsburg”, his agent Patrick de Koster was furious that his client had been asked about the circumstances when no official statement has yet been made about his future. De Bruyne’s agent is thought to be keen to secure a move for the 24 year old while his value is at its peak.
The former Chelsea player has been courted by the Premier League side since January, despite his mixed fortunes at Stamford Bridge. There have also been concerns that de Bruyne is ill-equipped physically with the demands of the EPL, in much the same way that Angel Di Maria was at Manchester United. The tricky midfielder appears to have developed both his physique and consistency during his time in the competitive Bundesliga, however, and his contribution to Champions League-bound Wolfsburg should not be ignored.
The Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs is certainly primed for a substantial bid for the player, with City having already seen an offer in the region of £40 million rejected for the de Bruyne. Despite this, he claims that the club is not driven by a need to sell, while de Bruyne himself seems perfectly happy to stay in the Bundesliga for at least another season. At first glance, this would appear to create a set of circumstances which would ultimately see de Bruyne stay with Wolfsburg.
While these factors and contracting time constraints suggest that the move may be dead for the summer, this is the type of transfer that has ‘deadline day deal’ written all over it. After all, City has a seemingly unlimited transfer kitty, meaning that the club can bid well in excess of £50 million should their motivation be strong enough. Despite the protestations of Wolfsburg, this may be too much money to refuse given the circumstances.
There is also the view of de Bruyne himself, who has at best sent mixed messages about his future. With his agent exerting an influence behind the scenes and the Belgian himself being tempted by the prospect of regular Champions League football and a huge wage increase, the smart money would be on de Bruyne completing a mega-bucks move to the Citizens before September 1st.