Manchester United will have to pay over £35 million if they are serious about signing Kevin de Bruyne this summer after VfL Wolfsburg's sporting director Klaus Allofs claimed the Bundesliga club "wouldn't even flinch" at that kind of offer.
The Belgium international's eye-watering valuation is more than double what the German outfit paid Chelsea for his signature in January last year, and reflects his rapid rise to prominence since moving to the Volkswagen Arena.
De Bruyne has netted 15 goals and contributed 25 assists for Dieter Hecking's side this season and is fast becoming one of the most highly-rated widemen in all of Europe.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been credited with an interest in bringing the 23-year-old back to the Premier League, but a prospective switch to Old Trafford certainly won't come cheaply.
Local rivals Manchester City have also been mooted as admirers of De Bruyne, as have Ligue 1 moneybags Paris Saint-Germain, but it remains to be seen whether any of his suitors will be willing to meet Allofs' extravagant asking price.
"[£35m] seriously? We wouldn't even flinch at an amount like that," he was quoted exclaiming by talkSPORT in an interview with Sky Deutschland.
Roman Abramovich must surely be kicking himself after giving the green light to De Bruyne leaving Stamford Bridge for just £18 million less than 18 months ago, following Jose Mourinho's evaluation that the attacking midfielder was not good enough to hold down a regular place in his Blues line-up.
However, the player appears to have proved the Portuguese tactician wrong by delivering a number of eye-catching displays for Wolfsburg, which has resulted in a number of glances from several European heavyweights.
Manchester United have already negotiated a £25 million deal to sign PSV Eindhoven's fleet-footed forward Memphis Depay when the transfer window reopens, so they might well be put off splashing another significant amount of cash on a winger.
The potential departure of club-record signing Angel di Maria might pave way for another wide-man to move to the Theatre of Dreams, but the club will be looking to recoup as much of the £59.7 million investment they made in the former Real Madrid man as possible.
Manchester United fans: Would you like to see Kevin de Bruyne move to Old Trafford this summer? How much do you think Louis van Gaal should be willing to pay for him? Have your say below…
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