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Football in De Bruyne: Man City break club record to sign Belgian

Manchester City, odds-on with Coral to regain the Premier League title this term, have signed Belgium international and former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg for a club record fee of £55m.

The Etihad outfit have handed in-demand De Bruyne, 24, a six-year contract, and he becomes their fifth summer signing after England duo Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph, young forward Patrick Roberts and Argentina centre back Nicolas Otamendi.

Man City’s interest in De Bruyne arose after his awesome exploits in the Bundesliga. Last term was his first full season with Die Wolfe, having left Stamford Bridge halfway through 2013/14, and from an attacking midfield berth he scored 16 goals and laid on 28 assists across all competitions.

During his two years on Chelsea’s books (January 2012-14), De Bruyne played just 133 minutes of Premier League football but, upon signing for £7m for them, he was loaned straight back to Ghenk and spent the 2012/13 campaign at Werder Bremen.

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Widespread reports of a rift with Blues boss Jose Mourinho limited De Bruyne to nine competitive outings for the west London club in all competitions. Subsequently sold for £18m, Chelsea thus making £11m profit, his value has since skyrocketed.

Only Lionel Messi made more assists than De Bruyne last season playing in an elite European league. He has three caps for his county to date and was Belgium’s top scorer in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The Red Devils are 12/1 chances to win Euro 2016.

VfL Wolfsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt

In beating Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to his signature, Man City make a major statement both at home and on the continent. This De Bruyne deal takes their summer spending on player recruitment to almost £150m.

Set to be given the central supporting role behind Etihad star striker Sergio Aguero, his capture appears to hint at Manuel Pellegrini moving David Silva back to a wide berth, joining £49m man Sterling on the flanks, with fellow Spaniard Jesus Navas the likely casualty.