Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: Wolfsburg admit they can't compete with 'astonishing' £200,000-a-week offer as £58m deal nears

Bundesliga club resigned to selling the talented midfielder as City offer him up to £200,000-a-week

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The Independent Football

Wolfsburg have confirmed that midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is considering an "astonishing, astonishing offer" from Manchester City with reports that the 24-year-old will be paid up to £200,00-a-week if he completes a move to the current Premier League leaders.

Former Chelsea midfielder De Bruyne remains the final name on City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s wish-list, having enjoyed a strong transfer window that has already shown that the 2013/14 league champions are ready to try and regain their crown.

Despite already spending nearly £100m though, City are ready to seal a £58m move for De Bruyne despite the Belgium international failing to impress in his short time at Chelsea, where he was afforded just nine appearances in total.

 

Speaking to The Telegraph at the draw for the Champions League group stage on Thursday, Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs revealed that the move is edging towards completion, and admitted that the Bundesliga club simply cannot compete with the offer that City have put on the table, despite being owned by German car manufacturer heavyweights Volkswagen.

“During the day, we have gone on with negotiations and we’ve got closer to each other. But the deal is not done. So, hopefully, we will find an end tonight or tomorrow morning,” said Allofs.

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Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs

Having signed De Bruyne in January 2014 for £18m, De Bruyne went about rebuilding his reputation the following season and ended the 2014/15 campaign with 10 goals and an incredible 20 assists in the German top flight that helped him secure the Bundesliga Player of the Season, voted for by his fellow professionals.

But with De Bruyne set for a considerable pay increase, Allofs admitted that the club had to consider the offer, given it represents a £40m profit on the fee Chelsea received just 18 months ago.

“Have a look at the statistics,” Allofs said. “Kevin did I don’t know how many assists and he scored 10 goals, so he was, he still is, a key player for Wolfsburg. It is a big blow if he is leaving but, you know, it’s a difficult situation. He’s had an astonishing, astonishing offer from City and we can’t compete with that.

“We had to take it seriously and that is the way we react with our players and finally we decided to start negotiations with City. It’s really a situation that nobody was thinking about when he started with us.”

Allofs expressed an alarming concern at the spending power of the Premier League clubs, highlighting that the 20th-placed team in the English top flight receives more TV broadcasting money than German champions Bayern Munich. Indeed, Bayern were keen on signing De Bruyne and have held talks with the player regarding a move at the end of the season, but City look to be in pole position to gain his signature.

“I would prefer to keep him, not to get the money,” Allofs said. “But the money now is really the issue because Kevin was qualified with Wolfsburg for the Champions League and he was a key player and took the next step. At Chelsea, he was not that good and I know the story because I took him to Werder Bremen [on loan] two years before and then to Wolfsburg. It will be very difficult – apart from Bayern Munich – to compete with the Premier League in the future.

“Even the last team in the Premier League has much more money than Bayern Munich in TV money so this is already the situation. It’s a big task for our football league to get more money out of TV rights and we have to compete with that and hopefully we can.

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Wolfsburg midfielder De Bruyne

“We are a slightly different club. We are part of the spectrum of Volkswagen. Of course, we need money, with the situation with financial fair play, but we are not a selling club. So, looking for a buyer is not what we are going for [with De Bruyne].

“But if he is leaving us I think there is at the moment no player to put into his position. He’s done so well in Bundesliga so there’s no need to look for a second Kevin De Bruyne. We are better with him.”

With just a handful of days left to run until the end of the transfer window, City will want to make progress with their pursuit of De Bruyne, and the first step looks to have been taken with German media reporting that De Bruyne will be left out of Wolfsburg’s squad to face Schalke today as an agreement nears.

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