Manchester City look to Chelsea cast-off as Toure replacement

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Backed by billionaire Indonesian club owner Erick Thohir, Roberto Mancini appears to have struck upon a rather novel strategy to help get the Nerazzurri back to the big time: signing Manchester City players.

And while few Sky Blues would really mourn the loss of Stevan Jovetic following an inconsistent spell at the Etihad, the Italian manager’s pursuit of Yaya Toure could generate some concern.

Much has been made of the fact that City’s Premier League title ambitions effectively imploded during the Ivorian’s absence in January for the Africa Cup of Nations.

So with speculation mounting that Mancini is plotting a double raid for Jovetic and Toure, should Sky Blues fans be concerned?

Perhaps not, because while the aforementioned pair are being linked with a move away from Eastlands, City may already be lining up a replacement in the form of a young attacking star already familiar with life in the Premier League.

To label Kevin de Bruyne a Chelsea flop would be reductive: the Belgian barely had the chance to disappoint for the Blues having made just three Premier League appearances for the Pensioners and nine in total during his short stay at the club.

Concerned that the lack of playing time under Jose Mourinho would hinder his chances of playing for the Red Devils at the World Cup, De Bruyne was the one who pushed for a move away from Stamford Bridge, with Wolfsburg shelling out a not insubstantial £18m for the playmaker.

But it’s proven to be money well spent, with the Belgian whizzkid a serious contender for player of the season in the Bundesliga and the driving force behind the Wolves’ march to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

His numbers certainly make for impressive reading, with the 23-year-old racking up 17 goals and 30 assists in 56 appearances for Wolfsburg to date.

Though Champions League qualification this term and some silverware besides could tempt De Bruyne to remain with the Volkswagen-backed side, should Manchester City come calling with a bumper offer, it could prove difficult for both the club and player to resist.

Energetic, inventive and a player who appears to have matured after playing regularly in the Bundesliga, we dare say the Belgian would relish the opportunity join City and upset Mourinho come next season.

Do that and Sky Blues fans may also quickly forget about Toure.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.