This is according to reliable Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur, who claims De Bruyne forced his exit from Stamford Bridge after fearing he wouldn’t get a proper chance to shine under the Portuguese coach.
De Bruyne would eventually leave Wolfsburg 18 months later in a £55 million transfer to Manchester City, where he has started extremely brightly.
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Reacting to a tweet from the Telegraph’s Paul Hayward, who pondered whether the decision to sell De Bruyne should go down as Mourinho’s biggest mistake, Terreur replied: “JM advised his board: "Do not sell this guy." Player felt he wouldn't get a proper chance and pushed for a move.”
Hayward responded: “Bit of a contradiction between Mourinho saying "don't sell," not picking him, and trashing his attitude subsequently?”
“Well,” the Belgian journalist tweeted back, “that was exactly what KDB felt too.”
Indeed, De Bruyne made just nine appearances for Chelsea during the opening months of the 2013-13 campaign - following his £6.7 million move from Genk a year earlier - three of which came in the Premier League.
Mourinho: De Bruyne couldn't hack it at Chelsea
Mourinho, earlier this year, told reporters that De Bruyne couldn’t cope with competing alongside quality players with a place in the first team.
“I wanted to keep him and he told me that it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team,” the Chelsea manager was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail in July. “He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is 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. So it's not fair.”
De Bruyne's exit is also Mourinho's mistake
But the situation could have been different had Mourinho played him more often.
Chelsea ultimately lost the services of one of Europe’s best players because Mourinho didn’t think - rightly or wrongly - the winger was ready for regular first-team football in the Premier League a couple of years ago.
Now shining for Manchester City in both the Premier League and Champions League, Mourinho’s failure to tie down De Bruyne now has the feel of a monumental mistake.
Chelsea fans: did Kevin De Bruyne deserve more opportunities to shine under Jose Mourinho during the 2013-14 campaign? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!