Manchester City are close to sealing a £58.5million deal for Kevin De Bruyne, which would be a club record fee for the league leaders.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have started the new season in sensational fashion, winning all of their three fixtures to date including a 3-0 home victory over champions Chelsea. Since the campaign began the Blues have spent around £30million on Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, and now De Bruyne looks certain to follow.
City have been linked with the Belgian international for much of the summer, and reports in Germany claim an initial fee of £55million has been agreed with Wolfsburg who would receive a further £3.5million to be added dependent on the success of the move. The player is expected to sign a six-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.
De Bruyne, who had also been linked with Manchester United and Bayern Munich, is no stranger to English football having joined Chelsea in 2012. He had loan spells at former club Genk and Werder Bremen, and was then sold to his current club in January 2013 for £13million when Jose Mourinho claimed he refused to fight for his place.
The 24-year-old has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best playmakers in Europe, but speaking last week, the Stamford Bridge coach insisted he had no regrets. “If you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision,” Mourinho said. “He was not ready to compete.”
De Bruyne will become the most expensive signing in City’s history, surpassing the £49million they paid Liverpool for Raheem Sterling earlier this summer. The Belgium midfielder, who has 33 caps for his country, is the second highest transfer in English football after Angel Di Maria, who joined rivals United for £59.7million last year.