With Financial Fair Play rules relaxed for the summer while UEFA seek a more sustainable set of guidelines, minted Manchester City’s crazy spending needn’t stop with the £49m handed to Liverpool for England forward Raheem Sterling.
The two-time Premier League champions have also been linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who would likely cost even more than Sterling following a fine couple of Serie A and Champions League campaigns, while rumours that the Citizens want former Chelsea man Kevin de Bruyne refuse to go away.
You can have evens with bwin.com about De Bruyne rocking up at the Etihad by the start of September, with 4/5 saying he remains registered with Wolfsburg after that date.
It’s not hard to figure out why City crave the 24-year-old after the term he just put in at the Volkswagen Arena, with a whopping 25 assists laid on by De Bruyne in Bundesliga and Europa League action, while banging in 15 goals of his own.
Where the 30-cap Belgium international would fit in at City is another matter, as Manuel Pellegrini has a packed squad containing four senior centre-forwards and four attacking-midfielders/wingers, now Sterling has made his move up the M62.
It may be ungenerous to suggest City striker Edin Dzeko’s recent comments regarding De Bruyne are anything but heartfelt, but the Serbian number nine would surely see himself further marginalised should more attacking talent be added to the roster.
The former Die Wolfe hitman has suggested De Bruyne could benefit from another season in Germany, as Dzeko believes he did after hanging on for 18 months following the Lower Saxony side’s 2008/09 Bundesliga title triumph.
Two January windows ago, De Bruyne was sold for £18m by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who criticised the player’s performances in training and stormed out of a press conference when asked about his role in the squad.
If De Bruyne did struggle with attitude issues, they seem to have settled, and he has spoken of his desire to play for Europe’s biggest outfits since the end of last season, so there’s clearly some juice in this rumour.