Kevin de Bruyne has been advised to quit Chelsea, and gain regular first team football by transferring to Schalke in the winter.
The 22-year-old was signed by the Blues in 2012, but was immediately loaned out to former club Genk and then, for the duration of last season, Werder Bremen. He has since returned to Stamford Bridge under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, who selected him to start the first Premier League match of the season against Hull City.
However, de Bruyne has since found regular action hard to come by in England, having made just two further appearances in the league, one in the UEFA Champions League and two in the League Cup. And with the World Cup Finals approaching next year, his Belgium coach has advised him to consider his options when the window reopens.
Schalke are said to be interested in signing the attacking midfielder, having been impressed last term when he scored ten goals in 33 Bundesliga outings for Die Werderaner. And should the opportunity of a move to Gelsenkirchen arrive during the winter, Marc Wilmots has suggested the former Genk youngster grab it with both hands.
“My request is that Kevin de Bruyne plays regular first-team football,” the 44-year-old Red Devils coach told Sport-BILD. “Everyone knows what he is capable of. Schalke is a special club for me and it would be great to see a player of this quality play for Schalke 04.”
De Bruyne certainly has plenty of competition for places in the Chelsea side, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Oscar and Willian all vying to be the creative drive in the centre of the park. But whilst Mourinho could be persuaded to let the Belgian leave on loan, a permanent sale during the mid-season would appear unlikely.