German outfit Wolfsburg’s chances of making an impression in the Champions League 2015 group stages have taken a major hit after the club have confirmed that star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will be joining Manchester City. Rumours about De Bruyne being a main transfer target for City have been going around for more than just a few months. City appear to have finally signed their target for a figure believed to be in excess of £50 million. The former Chelsea winger will not be available for the home game against Watford this weekend, but his transfer is expected to be completed before the close of this window.
City have not publicly announced the transfer yet, but Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs has confirmed that the German club did not want to keep a player who was not 100% focused in the dressing room. De Bruyne was a £6 million signing for Chelsea back in 2012. The blues later sold him for a substantial profit of £12 million and few would have predicted that De Bruyne would become a £50 million+ player. The signing will take City’s expenditure in the summer to more than £150 million. Allofs said:
“They have told me that nothing’s going to happen today [Friday] or tomorrow morning. We need players who are 100 per cent focused on the club.
“Of course it’s stressful but it’s a luxurious position for him to be in. He’s going to go from a Champions League club to another Champions League club, that’s a luxurious position to be in.
“He’s done a lot of thinking but he’s made this decision. To live with this uncertainty, as a professional footballer you’ll just have to make it work.”
Just when it seemed that Raheem Sterling was going to be the marquee arrival of the summer, he has been overshadowed by the recent arrivals of Nicolas Otamendi. Now, De Bruyne will cost more than Sterling and Manuel Pellegrini will have a hard time fitting in all these players into the team.
The Chilean is already struggling to give enough game time to summer signing Fabian Delph. The 25-year-old’s status within the squad is likely to be relegated even further given that De Bruyne is capable of playing as a central midfielder too. Delph has had just one minute of Premier League football this season. The £150 million spending spree also puts a lot of pressure on manager of Pellegrini. The team will no longer be expected to just reclaim the league title. Instead, Champions League expectations will soar through the roof.
After having given yet another ‘group of death’ in the European competition, City may consider themselves extremely unlucky. But with players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, De Bruyne, and Yaya Touré firing on all cylinders, the Premier League outfit can certainly hope for better performances in Europe.