Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was against the sale of Kevin De Bruyne during their time at Chelsea, a new book has revealed.
De Bruyne was signed as youth prospect back in 2012 from Genk for £7m, but hardly got a look in during his time at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian made just three Premier League appearances for the Blues, being shipped out on loan to Werder Bremen before leaving for fellow Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
During his time in Germany, De Bruyne established himself as one of Europe’s most exciting young play-makers, and transferred back to the Premier League in 2015 with Manchester City. De Bruyne has so far scored twice and recorded five assists in the league this season, and it has been revealed Mourinho was eager to keep him in London.
In Rob Beasley’s new book, Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal, Beasley reveals Mourinho admired the play-maker, but that the young Belgian wanted to move.
“Jose was a fan of De Bruyne’s talents if not his attitude and didn’t want to sell; it was the young Belgian who wanted to get away,” Beasley writes, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“The 22-year-old winger was unable to cope with his lack of game time even though it was his first season under Mourinho.”
De Bruyne has previously spoken about his time at Stamford Bridge under now United boss Mourinho.
“Mourinho called in all the attacking midfielders.
“He showed us the stats of his six players – assists, goals, passing percentage, key passes, dribbles. He wanted to prove I didn’t perform on the level of the others.
“I simply answered him: ‘Sorry, that’s not logical. I’ve played less games than the others. How can you compare me to the others?’ That was just not fair in my eyes.
“There was talk that I didn’t train too much, stories I couldn’t defend myself against as the sessions were always behind closed doors.”