Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Transfer news: Kevin De Bruyne urged to leave Chelsea to keep 2014 World Cup hopes alive

The Belgium coach Marc Wilmots believes the 22-year-old must leave the Blues in January to keep up a chance of making his World Cup squad

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has insisted that if Kevin De Bruyne wants to ensure he is selected for next summer’s World Cup, he has to seriously consider leaving Chelsea in January.

The 22-year-old has started just four games for the Blues since Jose Mourinho returned to the helm at Stamford Bridge, and has come in for criticism from the Portuguese after he was left far from impressed with De Bruyne’s performances.

The Evening Standard has revealed that a clause in De Bruyne’s 2012 transfer from Genk prevents Chelsea from selling him to one of their rivals such as Anderlecht, although he could look to join a club on loan for the rest of the season with Wolfsburg and Schalke said to be interested.

Wilmots however is keen for him to move elsewhere and said: "My request is that Kevin de Bruyne plays regular first-team football. Everyone knows what he is capable of.

"Schalke is a special club for me and it would be great to see a player of this quality play for Schalke 04."

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt admits his side are one of the teams in the running and said: "Kevin de Bruyne is a player that many clubs are about to consider."