Chelsea and Manchester United will have to act if they want to do a deal for Kevin de Bruyne this summer, as their rivals Manchester City have already started negotiations with his representatives over a €60million deal.
Etihad Stadium chief Txiki Begiristain has already had two separate meetings with the Wolfsburg winger’s agent, the latest of which took place around the Bundesliga club’s Europa League victory over Inter Milan, according to Het Laatste Nieuws.
Manchester City are expected to do some overhauling of their squad come the summer when they will almost certainly finish this season empty-handed, having failed to defend their Premier League title and performed poorly in cup competitions.
However, any move for De Bruyne is likely to spark the interest of both Manchester United and Chelsea, as the Premier League duo have reportedly also been very impressed with his performances in the Bundesliga this season.
Reports over the weekend claimed that Jose Mourinho has decided the 23-year-old can be a part of his plans and De Bruyne would be open to going back, just over a year since he was deemed surplus to requirements by the Stamford Bridge club and sold to Wolfsburg in the 2014 January transfer window.
It would be a remarkable turnaround for a player who looked unconvincing in England and only managed three Premier League appearances since he made the move from Genk in 2013, following an initial season-long loan back to the club where he made his name.
Meanwhile, German press reported earlier this year that Louis van Gaal had taken a keen interest in the future of De Bruyne and that he was enthusiastic about Manchester United making a summer move for him.
Van Gaal and Mourinho may struggle in this race, however, as the HLN report claims the meetings between City and De Bruyne’s people have been “extensive” and Begiristain appears to have put the Citizens in pole position to land the exciting youngster.
Not So Clever Now
Were Chelsea to splash out the required €60million to sign their former player, it would do some damage to the reputation as master negotiators that they have garnered of late, partly due to the sale of De Bruyne to Wolfsburg.
The Blues managed to get a reported €20million for that sale, which was seen at the time as a great deal for someone who had only made three league appearances. However, paying three times as much to bring him back a year-and-a-half later doesn’t look great.
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