Bad news, Manchester City fans who think the Citizens need one or two additional major signings before the close of the summer transfer window (Sept. 1): Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will not be one of them.
[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]
De Bruyne, who bagged 10 goals and notched 20 assists in league play last season, has been consistently linked with a move to the Premier League all summer long, but on Monday revealed his own personal plans for the 2015-16 season.
Speaking at the Sport-Bild awards in Germany on Monday, De Bruyne eluded to Wolfsburg’s “familiar atmosphere” as a key reason he’d be more than happy to remain at the club this season.
When asked to elaborate and clarify what, exactly, that meant, De Bruyne had the following to say:
“I, Kevin de Bruyne, will definitely play this season at VfL Wolfsburg.”
Well, OK then, that’s pretty emphatic and, though not technically legally binding, pretty committal. For De Bruyne to leave Wolfsburg now would require one of the largest (and ugliest) about-faces in the history of soccer transfers.
With Wolfsburg competing on three fronts this season — Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Champions League — keeping De Bruyne is obviously a massive, unexpected boost for Dieter Hecking’s side. For City, though, it’s a pretty significant loss. Not only is De Bruyne an exceptionally talented player, but he’s still just 24 years old. Pairing the young Belgian with 20-year-old Raheem Sterling, who arrived at the Etihad Stadium this summer, would have given the blue side of Manchester a formidable attacking midfield duo for the next decade.