fun88 FC Koeln and VfL Wolfsburg at RheinEnergieStadion on August 22, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. COLOGNE, GERMANY – AUGUST 22: Kevin De Bruyne of Wolfsburg claps after the Bundesliga match between 1. (Photo by Mika Volkmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Manchester City have clinched the signing of Belgian attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg.
The 24-year-old former Chelsea player had been a prime transfer window target of City boss Manuel Pellegrini who can now integrate him into the Barclays Premier League leaders’ squad.
De Bruyne has signed a six-year contract, his new club announced.
Pellegrini said on City’s website: “We are very happy to have added Kevin to our team and I have no doubt that he will be a big success on his return to the Premier League.”
The fee has not been announced but reports have suggested City may have gone as high as 58million ($89 million) with their offer, eclipsing the 49million ($75.4 million) club-record price paid for Raheem Sterling earlier in the summer.
De Bruyne joins winger Sterling, midfielder Fabian Delph and center-back Nicolas Otamendi in swelling the senior ranks at the Etihad Stadium this summer.
City were already well stocked with talent in midfield, but De Bruyne strengthens their options for a season when success at home and in Europe is coveted at the club. He will be competing with the likes of Sterling, David Silva and Samir Nasri to play in the area behind striker Sergio Aguero.
Pellegrini said: “It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those – he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in.
“We like to play attractive, attacking football and bringing in a player like De Bruyne will only aid us as we fight on four fronts.”
De Bruyne forged his reputation as a creative player and a goal threat at his first club, Genk, and joined Chelsea in January 2012, but barely saw any first-team action during his time with the club.
He stayed at Genk on loan for the remainder of the 2011-12 season before spending the following campaign at Werder Bremen, again on loan. Without establishing himself in new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s plans, he was allowed to depart for Wolfsburg on a permanent transfer in January 2014.
The Belgium international played a starring role in Wolfsburg finishing second in last season’s Bundesliga, and City are confident their new arrival is far from a Premier League cast-off and more a player who will strengthen their silverware prospects.
De Bruyne is eager to prove himself at his new club.
He said: “I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.
“I think this is the most important for the club, the players and for the fans of course.”
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