Brace yourselves, Kevin de Bruyne fans: Bild are reporting that the Belgian youngster has agreed to join Borussia Dortmund. And not on loan, either. If Bild are to be believed, de Bruyne has agreed terms on a five-year contract and a permanent transfer. Crucially, Chelsea haven't.
This is obviously extremely unsettling -- de Bruyne is one of our top prospects, after all -- but let's not get too worried about this just yet. Some bullet points to think over.
- This is just a rumour. Bild are not the most reliable source in football, and even if they say a deal has been done, that's no guarantee that it's actually happened.
- Even if de Bruyne wants a move, they'll have to negotiate a transfer fee with Chelsea. If this happens, it will happen on the club's terms. De Bruyne is on a long-term contract with the Blues, and they obviously value him very highly. Should this come to pass, I'd expect this to be as part of a swap for one of BVB's senior players.
- Every indication we've seen -- from Chelsea, the player and other teams looking to bring him in on loan -- point to him either being with the club next season or being loaned out. It was only last week that saw Bayer Leverkusen's president claim that Chelsea would not sell de Bruyne.
In other words, this is scary, and we should be concerned, but there's no reason to panic yet. If BVB have gone after de Bruyne's signature without Chelsea's permission, we can nail them for tapping him up. If Chelsea do sell, they'll get plenty in return. And if this turns out to be just a rumour, which is in my estimation the most likely scenario, then everything is cool.
PS: If de Bruyne is sold, we're naturally going to get complaints about how Chelsea aren't handling their young talent correctly, but for me that all depends on what we get back for him. As fond as I am of de Bruyne in the abstract, he's never played in a Chelsea shirt save for preseason games, so there's no real emotional attachment there. That means he's a resource who has a certain value, and if we sell for more than that value, it's not something to get upset about.