English Premiership

City break the bank for De Bruyne

2015-08-30 17:14
Kevin De Bruyne (Supplied)

Manchester - Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday announced the signing of Belgium playmaker Kevin De Bruyne from German side Wolfsburg on a six-year contract.

City did not disclose how much they had paid for the 24-year-old former Chelsea player, but British media reports said the fee was a club record in the region of £54 million.

"Manchester City are delighted to announce that Kevin De Bruyne has joined the club on a six-year deal," City announced on their website, alongside a picture of De Bruyne holding the number 17 shirt.

De Bruyne said: "I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.

"I think this is the most important for the club, the players and for the fans of course."

The deal eclipses the £49 million that City paid Liverpool to secure Raheem Sterling's services and smashes the Bundesliga transfer record of 41 million, which Liverpool paid Hoffenheim for Brazil forward Roberto Firmino in July.

It also represents a three-fold increase on the fee of £18 million that Wolfsburg paid Chelsea to sign De Bruyne in January 2014.

"We are very happy to have added Kevin to our team and I have no doubt that he will be a big success on his return to the Premier League," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the club website.

"It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those - he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in.

"We like to play attractive, attacking football and bringing in a player like De Bruyne will only aid us as we fight on four fronts."

As well as Sterling and De Bruyne, City have also signed defender Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Fabian Delph as they look to reclaim the Premier League title lost to Chelsea last season.

De Bruyne is expected to line up on the right-hand side of Pellegrini's attack, alongside Sterling and David Silva and in support of lone striker Sergio Aguero.

De Bruyne arrived in England via private jet on Saturday, having sat out Wolfsburg's 3-0 win over Schalke on Friday as speculation that he was on the verge of joining City intensified.

He was named German Footballer of the Year last season after scoring 16 goals and providing 29 assists as Wolfsburg won the German Cup and finished runners-up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

De Bruyne began his career in his homeland with Genk and contributed to their 2011 Belgian title success before joining Chelsea in 2012.

Chelsea loaned him back to Genk and then to Werder Bremen, where he spent the 2012/13 season, playing 34 times and supplying 10 goals and 10 assists.

His displays for Bremen created expectations that he was ready to make an impact at Chelsea, but he failed to impress manager Jose Mourinho, who allowed him to leave for Wolfsburg after only nine appearances.

He has played 33 times for Belgium, scoring eight goals, and was a member of the side that reached the quarter-finals at last year's World Cup in Brazil.


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