City close to De Bruyne deal

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There were reports last night in Germany's Bild newspaper and the Kicker magazine that De Bruyne will have his medical in Manchester today with a view to being presented by the club later in the week. The club refused to comment on these reports last night but there was no denial that the deal was imminent, and City have pursued De Bruyne all summer.

The deal that has been suggested in Germany is a guaranteed fee of £55m to Wolfsburg, with additional payments according to what City achieve with De Bruyne in the team. The six-year contract offer with a salary of around £200,000 a week would make De Bruyne an early beneficiary of the new three-year £5.14bn television deal that begins from the start of the next Premier League season.

De Bruyne, 24, has also attracted interest from Bayern Munich who have emerged as a late contender to sign the attacking midfielder. With Uefa's financial fair play rules relaxed, City have been able to be more aggressive this summer in their signings with the £49m fee for Raheem Sterling currently a club record.

Chelsea sold De Bruyne in the January transfer window of 2014 after he failed to convince Jose Mourinho that he would be prepared to battle for a place in the first team. Initially he had impressed the Chelsea manager on the pre-season trip to south-east Asia in 2013, but he slipped further down the pecking order and came in for public criticism from Mourinho after a poor performance against Swindon Town in the Carling Cup in September 2013.

Since De Bruyne's return to Germany with Wolfsburg - he had previously been on loan at Werder Bremen - he has emerged as one of the best playmakers in Europe.

Mourinho says that he had no choice but to sell the player, who went for £13m in January last year, because De Bruyne said at the time that he needed to be guaranteed a start.

Speaking on Friday at Cobham on De Bruyne, Mourinho said that he had no regrets about letting the player go.

“If you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision. At that time, Chelsea did well. If De Bruyne stayed here, not happy and not motivated, and we'd sold him after a year, we'd have got less... less 50 per cent of what we sold him for.”

He added: “It was like a wall, a block. He was not ready to compete. He was an upset kid, training very bad. He always said he had trained well in his life, but he needs motivation to train well by playing every game.” – The Independent

Original source: City close to De Bruyne deal

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