Kevin de Bruyne to Manchester City: Raheem Sterling deal could be followed by £50m move for former Chelsea midfielder

City could be forced to splash out on De Bruyne given Wolfsburg's reluctance to sell the Belgian midfielder

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The Independent Football

Manchester City could follow up their announcement of signing Raheem Sterling with a move for former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne that could see their summer spending rapidly increase towards the £100m mark.

City are ready to complete the £49m move for Liverpool winger Sterling, with an initial £45m fee set to be topped up by adds that will take the deal to the most expensive ever seen for a British player. With the Sterling deal all but confirmed, City have turned their attentions to other transfer business that they would like to seal this summer, and the Telegraph reports that one of those men is Wolfsburg midfielder De Bruyne.

The Belgium international was instrumental in guiding the Bundesliga side to Champions League qualification for this season, and laid on an unrivalled 20 assists in the league last time out – eight more than his nearest competitor in Werder Bremen’s Zlatko Junuzovic. The German club feel that they are in no position to be forced to sell given that they have a strong financial backing from car manufacturer Volkswagen and have De Bruyne tied down until the summer of 2019.

 

However, the club clearly feel uncomfortable given the interest coming from City as well as Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich as they have already attempted to talk De Bruyne into signing a new contract on improved terms as a reward for his impressive form last season. The sale of Bastian Schweinsteiger to City’s rivals Manchester United could prompt Bayern into launching a move for the 24-year-old, although no official interest has been shown by the Bavarians.

The increased interest in De Bruyne comes after City saw the prospect of signing Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba slip away, with Barcelona leading the race to sign the higly-rated France international. City are also reported to have baulked at Pogba’s wage demands, although the news that Sterling could earn as much as £200,000-a-week shows that City still have the financial firepower that helped them rise through the Premier League ranks.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain is set to hold further talks with Wolfsburg over the future of De Bruyne, but the German side could demand as much as £50m for him. The one factor that will go in City’s favour is that De Bruyne personally believes he has unfinished business in the Premier League following Chelsea’s decision to sell him without giving him a chance to impress in Jose Mourinho’s side, and De Bruyne would love to help another club beat the Blues to the title in order to show what they are missing out on.