Manchester City have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Kevin De Bruyne, as Wolfsburg’s manager insists that the playmaker will not leave this summer.
As Raheem Sterling closed in on his record-breaking £49m transfer to the Etihad – which was confirmed on Tuesday evening [via BBC Sport] – the Telegraph claimed that the Citizens were eager to continue their spending with an offer for the Belgium international.
The former Chelsea midfielder’s contract with the Bundesliga outfit expires in 2019 and this, combined with his astonishing form last season – in which he recorded a tally of 25 assists – has resulted in a £50m price-tag, the Telegraph state.
However, City may have to wait until next summer to press ahead with their interest in the 24-year-old, as Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking is confident that De Bruyne will remain at the Volkswagen Arena for at least one more year:
“Kevin is a player the world wants,” as quoted by Sky Sports.
“I think he will stay for a minimum one more year at Wolfsburg.”
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Manuel Pellegrini has so far secured the signatures of Sterling and Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph – with the latter sealing a hugely controversial transfer to Manchester on Friday evening [via BBC Sport].
The England international, only seven days ago, assured Villa fans that he would not be leaving the club this summer following persistent speculation of a City move [via BBC Sport], but his comments have now only left his former supporters seething with fury.
Arguably the duo may have specifically been signed by the two-time Premier League champions to address their problematic homegrown quota [via Sky Sports]; however, with Sterling aged 20, Delph aged 25, and rumoured target De Bruyne just 24, City may also be eager for an injection of youth into their first-team.
Last season, the average age of the Sky Blues’ squad was 28.9 which, as Gary Neville stated in the Telegraph, can be classed as elderly in modern football.