Kevin De Bruyne has told his current employers VFL Wolfsburg that he would like to leave the club, according to Wolfsburger Allgemeiner Zeitung.
The Belgian attacking midfielder had previously said on a TV show in Germany that he did not want to leave Wolfsburg, but reports have emerged that he was repeating a talk show host’s line of “I want to stay in Wolfsburg” without actually knowing what he was saying.
De Bruyne has been a target for Manchester City since the beginning of the summer after notching double-digits in both goals and assists for The Wolves, leading them to a second place finish in the Bundesliga along with poacher Bas Dost.
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De Bruyne combined with Dost on a weekly basis for Die Wolfe, helping Dost to score 16 goals in 21 appearances, a memorable record. De Bruyne was not only an assist machine for one man, however. He emerged as the star of Wolfsburg’s team in 2014-15, producing dynamo-like numbers, week-in, week-out.
KDB created 111 chances in 34 games in the Bundesliga – but the numbers do not stop there. Across 45 appearances in all competitions, the Belgian notched fifteen goals and twenty-five assists, making 164 key passes in total on the season.
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Brilliant De Bruyne
De Bruyne created 158 chances in total across all competitions, playing a key role in Wolfsburg’s buildup play every time they attacked. Die Wolfe had options on the left side in Andre Schurrle and Ricardo Rodriguez, so De Bruyne’s creativity was utilised either through the centre or on the right. The vast majority of chances he created came through the centre of the pitch – which is where he plays – however 47 of the 158 in total were created from the right flank. Manchester City have lacked options on the right side ever since the signing of Spanish speed demon Jesus Navas did not work out as they hoped it would.
De Bruyne does not boast the same surplus of pace that Navas has, however he likes to play on the counter and is able to run with the ball, past defenders, at speed. De Bruyne would most likely be given the number ten role through the centre if purchased by City, meaning David Silva would be pushed out wide to the left, Raheem Sterling on the right side, and Sergio Aguero up front. On the counter attack, the attacking midfield positions could all interchange, with Sterling able to play on the left and Silva better suited to a central role.
The advantage this presents is that KDB is strong on both feet, which means that hypothetically, his chance creation from the left would be just as good if given the opportunity. All he needs is a forward who has good off the ball movement – which is something Sergio Aguero is very good at.
The one problem that this transfer presents to Manchester City is the hugely inflated fee they are demanding for the Belgian’s services. A price tag of €80 million has been thrown around – even Manchester City would likely balk at such a number.
Having said that, the interest is definitely there, and the Citizens are not ones to back down from a transfer duel with another club, a la Raheem Sterling. As long as he is given first-team football, De Bruyne could shine in Manchester. While Jose Mourinho was previously of the opinion that KDB was not Premier League quality, it seems clear that there has been a step up in his play since the days where he was at Chelsea. Do not be surprised to see the City owners splash the cash on this one.