Wednesday 28 September 2016

De Bruyne did not have stomach for fight - Mourinho

John Percy

Published 24/07/2015 | 02:30

Kevin de Bruyne is on course for a Premier League return with Man City
Kevin de Bruyne is on course for a Premier League return with Man City

Jose Mourinho has claimed that Manchester City's £50m target Kevin De Bruyne could not accept fighting for his place at Chelsea.

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Jose Mourinho has claimed that Manchester City's £50m target Kevin De Bruyne could not accept fighting for his place at Chelsea.

De Bruyne is on course for a swift return to the Premier League, with City set to make a substantial bid, but Mourinho delivered a frank assessment of the Belgium international's spell in west London.

The attacking midfielder made only two league starts for Chelsea in two years and apparently admitted to Mourinho that he was not prepared to battle other players for regular first-team football.

De Bruyne was offloaded to Wolfsburg in January 2014 for a fee of around £18m and has significantly enhanced his reputation, also emerging as a target for Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich.

City are stepping up their bid to sign the 24-year-old this month, yet Mourinho dismissed De Bruyne's claims that he was not given a chance at Stamford Bridge, outlining other reasons behind his exit.

"He told me it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team. He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important," Mourinho said.

"He did not want a team where he thinks, 'Am I playing or not?' He needs that trust, he needs that quality. He needs that security.

"He was on the bench. He told me he was not happy. He was not training very well and I was asking for more and he was saying: 'I can't give you more, this is just my way.'

"I accept that if that is his mentality and it's his choice to go, it is better for Chelsea to make a good deal. I'm happy for him because he's a good kid. If Wolfsburg make a fantastic deal that is good for them too."

Wolfsburg are braced for an offer from City and on course to secure a huge profit, with Manuel Pellegrini prepared to go over £45m.

De Bruyne is likely to be competing against the likes of £49m signing Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero for a place in the City side.

Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon faces an uncertain future after annoying Mourinho by giving an unauthorised interview about Paris St Germain.

Lollichon earned a rebuke from Mourinho for comments made about the goalkeeping situation at PSG.

When asked about the French champions, who face Chelsea in a friendly today, Mourinho said: "I don't speak about Paris. I don't think that I should. A couple of weeks ago my goalkeeper coach was speaking about the Paris St-Germain goalkeeper and I think he shouldn't do it.

While Mourinho is focusing on making additions, John Obi Mikel is ready to fight for his Chelsea future as he approaches his 10th season at the club.

He has been given assurances that he still has a part to play this season and the 28-year-old has pledged to stay for the remainder of his deal.

"I have two years [on my contract] left here and I want to see it out. The manager has told me he wants me to stay so I don't have any issues," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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