Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne has revealed that Jose Mourinho persuaded him not to join Borussia Dortmund back in the 2013 close season after the Portuguese promised him first-team football to remain at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgium international travelled to Germany to meet the club’s former manager, Jurgen Klopp, and was subsequently keen to make the switch to the Bundesliga.
After putting his request to his London-based employers, he was assured by Mourinho that he would be getting more first-team action with Chelsea.
That didn’t transpire though, and the midfielder eventually transferred to Wolfsburg midway
through the 2013/14 campaign.
Speaking to The Telegraph, De Bruyne explained: “I had a personal agreement [with Klopp]. I asked the club [Chelsea] to go because I had a good feeling about Dortmund at the time.
"I had been good in Germany and he [Klopp] really wanted me because [Mario] Gotze went to Bayern Munich. He called me, and said ‘You will be the No 1’ … at a team who had been second in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League final.
"At the time I thought it was a good decision to go but the manager [Jose Mourinho] told me ‘You need to stay and you will get your chance here’. I accepted it and we moved on.”
Today the Belgian will come up against Klopp again when Manchester City host Liverpool in the Premier League evening kick-off, and the 24-year-old still has a lot of respect for the former Dortmund coach.
De Bruyne added: “I think he [Klopp] is a good trainer. I saw the way Dortmund played and they [Liverpool] play the same style. He tries to do the same. He is new here, and it will take some time. In the seven years he was there he did a magnificent job.”
But for now, the playmaker will be happy to see Klopp’s Liverpool start stall, if it means that City can claim three points that will extend their stay at the Premier League summit.
Could Borussia Dortmund have won the Champions League if they had Kevin de Bruyne in their squad? Have your say in the comments section below!