Based on some recent comments and decisions at Wolfsburg, it is only a matter of time before Kevin de Bruyne departs for Manchester City.
The Belgian playmaker, responsible for 20 assists in the Bundesliga last season, which was the most across the top five leagues, has been left out of the Wolfsburg squad for the Bundesliga fixture with Schalke.
Reports suggest that a fee in the region of £58 million has been agreed with Man City and Wolfsburg director of sport Klaus Allofs has indicated that the Citizens have offered the playmaker an “astonishing” wage to move to the Emirates, despite already earning €10 million in Germany.
The signs suggest a move is imminent to the current 3/4 Premier League title favourites, but is it the right move for De Bruyne?
Jose Mourinho had a reasonable amount to say about the 24-year-old last month, with the most noteworthy snippet being: “I wanted to keep him and he told me that it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team.
“He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important.”
Although De Bruyne may start 90% of games at Man City given his price tag, the fact that he is likely to feature predominantly on the right may sway any thoughts over his importance.
Despite the lofty investment, there is no doubting that David Silva, who has arguably been man of the match in all three of Man City’s Premier League matches so far, will remain the club’s senior playmaker.
One reason for Silva’s scintillating displays has been the luxury of the extra space he has been afforded centrally in the final third, with Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas remaining wide to stretch play.
De Bruyne has also flourished in a similar role for Wolfsburg, where he is afforded the extravagance of not having a true position. Instead, wandering laterally across the pitch to influence play.
This is similar to what both Silva and Samir Nasri were allowed to do for Manuel Pellegrini last season, albeit from starting positions out wide. The problem was too many cooks in the central areas and it was often tough to prise open defences that worked out the gains of defending in a narrow and compact shape.
By recruiting De Bruyne, City run the risk of returning to last season’s troubles, as he is unlikely to want to stay wide in the manner that Navas has successfully. By picking the Belgian, Pellegrini threatens to negatively impact the creativity of his two most imaginative players.
Furthermore, with City starting the season so well, it would be foolish to fix something that isn’t broken. De Bruyne could easily struggle to nail down regular starts and this will bring unhappiness, if the words of Mourinho are true.
If the former Chelsea man wants to move on to a bigger club than Wolfsburg, there are plenty in need of a leading central playmaker. Juventus, PSG and potentially even Barcelona are three at spring to mind.
Man City are the last club that will be looking to change theirs at present, which surely makes them the worst fit for De Bruyne and he must know this. Based on this thought, a move to the Etihad comes across as being more about the money than his own happiness.
Therefore, he must be a prescriber to the concept of money being able to make someone happy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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