Manchester City are set to step up their pursuit of Kevin De Bruyne in the coming days, as they look to regain the Premier League title from Chelsea.
Manuel Pellegrini led the Sky Blues to a second title in three seasons during his debut campaign in charge, but last term they struggled to live with Jose Mourinho’s side who finished eight points clear at the top of the standings. This led to speculation that the Chilean coach could be heading out of Manchester, but he has been backed to deliver more glory this time round.
Pellegrini has also been given another healthy transfer budget, and has smashed the club’s transfer record by spending £49million on Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling. He has also been able to take Fabian Delph from Aston Villa for £8million, Patrick Roberts from Fulham for £11million, and Enes Unal has joined from Bursaspor for £2million but has been sent on loan to Genk.
This is most of the business City intend to do this summer, although they still have room to make one big addition should the right player become available. The Etihad Stadium club would love that player to be former Manchester United youngster Paul Pogba, but the France international looks set to remain at Juventus for another season before being sold to Spanish giants Barcelona.
Pellegrini has therefore made De Bruyne his top target. The Belgium international was discarded by Chelsea last summer after failing to convince Mourinho of his talent, but he went on to have an exceptional season for Wolfsburg for whom he scored 10 goals and assisted an incredible 21 from 34 Bundesliga matches on his way to being named Player of the Year in Germany.
As much as Die Wolfe would love to keep hold of the 24-year-old for at least another season, particularly as they will play in the UEFA Champions League, it is understood they will reluctantly listen to sizeable offers for a player who is under contract until 2019. And The Guardian claims City will test their resolve with an offer of around £48million before the window closes.
Meanwhile, a former Wolfsburg player who certainly did complete a move to City is Edin Dzeko, who has since gone on to help the Blues win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has played a key role in these successes without being an automatic first team pick, and he is now set to join Roma for £14million.