German outfit Wolfsburg have admitted that their star asset Kevin De Bruyne is struggling to handle the talks surrounding his future. The midfielder has been subjected to transfer interest from Manchester City, who have been on a spending spree in the summer. UEFA lifting the financial fair play restrictions to a major extent has been a factor, but the desire to reclaim the Premier League title is also in the minds of the Manchester club. Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi have been brought in for a combined transfer fee of £82 million.
De Bruyne is valued at around £ 50 million by Wolfsburg, who had brought him for only around £ 18 million from Chelsea almost 2 years ago. It would represent a massive profit for the German club, but they are reportedly unwilling to discuss any offer below £ 45 million. City have had their interest in the Belgian for quite a while and they have been inching towards the demands set by Wolfsburg. As the transfer window approaches its conclusion, a deal appears to be very close indeed. Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking admitted that the player has been settled. He said:
“Kevin is a bit tired at the moment because there is so much happening around him. He finds himself in a situation that is on his mind all the time, just like it has been over the past few weeks. We are just trying to get him in the best shape possible.”
Despite the transfer interest, Wolfsburg have not been reluctant to take advantage of De Bruyne’s quality while he remains at the club. He has played in all the club’s three games so far, but this situation could change in the upcoming game this weekend against Köln. De Bruyne provided an assist in Wolfsburg’s recent win over Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup. However, it may be tough for the club – even with Champions League football – to resist the lure of joining City. Wolfsburg’s sporting director Klaus Allofs said:
“All our planning assume that Kevin is in the squad, he is fit and that he can play. We think he can play. Distractions are normal for such a player and he has to handle it.”
Wolfsburg can only hope on De Bruyne choosing the safety of guaranteed first team football over the riches that he may gain from joining City. Jose Mourinho recently hinted that De Bruyne did not have the mentality to accept competition for places. Whether the player wishes to go back to a similar situation remains to be seen. He has so far been quiet about his future, but there has been some unhappiness in his camp after he was publicly made to commit to Wolfsburg at a recent awards ceremony. City’s last offer for the player is believed to have been £ 47 million and it may not be long before it is increased to £ 50 million.