Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says Jose Mourinho only spoke to him twice during time at Chelsea

The Belgian was sold to Wolfsburg for £18m by the Chelsea boss

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Kevin De Bruyne, who was signed by Manchester City for £54m just 19 months after Jose Mourinho told Chelsea to sell him for £18m, has revealed he was desperate to leave Stamford Bridge after the manager dropped him without any explanation.

The Belgian started two of the first three games of Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea in 2013 but had only two conversations with the manager when he found himself replaced by André Schürrle – one of which gave him the false impression that the Portuguese thought he was improving.

De Bruyne’s starts were subsequently restricted to three League Cup games, and in the last week of December he told the club that he wanted to leave. “I didn’t get any explanation [for being dropped],” De Bruyne said yesterday.


“I only talked with him twice – Mourinho. That was before the game against Basel [in late November 2013, when De Bruyne appeared for the last four minutes]. He said I was doing better, in his opinion, and that I would get my chance.

“I think that was maybe November. And then one week before January, that’s the day I said I wanted to go out because even if I was training better, I was not getting any minutes. So for me personally, it was better to go.” De Bruyne was sold in January 2014 to Wolfsburg, where he flourished.

“I don’t regret it,” he said of his Chelsea experience. “I just needed to go so that things could be better for me personally. Selling was probably better than loaning because if you go on loan you just return to the same situation.

“In Germany, I was at a club where I was really wanted and where I was always playing. If I had come back it would have been the same situation. I would still have been a young player coming back from a small club to a big club and I would have had to prove myself all over again. That’s OK if you are 17 or 18 but I had always had four or five years of football behind me so it was different.”

Mourinho said last month of De Bruyne, 24: “If you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision. It was like a wall, a block. He was not ready to compete.”

City face West Ham at home at tea-time and De Bruyne, who discussed his move at the launch of the club’s “Night Time Rising” third-choice strip, which the team will wear in next week’s Capital One Cup tie at Sunderland, said he is a different player now.

“It’s a different situation and I am a completely different person than I was then,” he said. “I was 19 and then worked with three managers [at Chelsea] and just didn’t play that much. I just wanted to play. I had come from Bremen, where I played every second, so the difference was huge. I wasn’t even on the bench.”

His compatriot Vincent Kompany this week described De Bruyne as “the most English Belgian” he has known and said: “You guys [England] should have got to him first.”

The player said his mother, Anna De Bruyne, spent 20 years in England, including her childhood in Ealing, but doubted she had English nationality. “I’ve only Belgian nationality,” De Bruyne said, during a break from kit signing at the Etihad Stadium shop. “I don’t know if my mother still has [English nationality] but she wasn’t born here. Maybe she does. She went to school here but in the end they took Belgian nationality. My grandparents [who also lived in England] are Belgian too.”


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