We're still waiting on official news regarding Kevin de Bruyne's sale to Wolfsburg, but much like Nemanja Matic's arrival at Chelsea this one seems to have been unofficially wrapped up long before anyone actually confirmed the deal. Jose Mourinho said in his press conference yesterday that he was 'more than probably leaving', the player himself is apparently in Germany for a medical, and so now we just wait on an announcement.
In the meantime, we get to hear a little about just what happened to the 22-year-old at Stamford Bridge. Although the full article isn't out online yet, HLN spent a lot of time chatting to de Bruyne, and those in the Belgian-footballing-know are sharing some interesting tidbits. Take a look:
In exclusive HLN interview, Kevin De Bruyne says he asked Mourhino to let him go and that he got on well with the Portuguese coach. #cfc— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) January 18, 2014
De Bruyne also told HLN that he did extra training - also on his days off - but it didn't change situation. Interview in print version. #cfc— John Chapman (@BelgoFoot) January 18, 2014
De Bruyne lost weight, cut out junk food (seriously though, why did he have to wait for Mourinho to tell him to stop drinking Coca-Cola!?), did extra work in training, but it still wasn't enough to force his way into the first team, and with the World Cup on the horizon, he needed to get out. It doesn't sound like there are any hard feelings here, just raw pragmatism from both parties.
I'm still a bit flummoxed by his comments on diet (there's been some clarification from the Dutch speaking commenters -- de Bruyne wasn't implying he was binging on sweets; rather that he lost weight despite the availability of treats). Without taking away from my affection for him, de Bruyne sometimes gives off the impression of a lackadaisical child rather than an elite footballing prospect, and I'm getting the suspicion that his idea of 'working hard in training' might be very different to the manager's. That's not a recipe for a happy ending at Chelsea.