Wednesday 13 December 2017

Chelsea close in on £8m swoop for Genk's De Bruyne

De Bruyne: Faced Chelsea last year
De Bruyne: Faced Chelsea last year

John Nisbet

Chelsea are in talks with Genk over the signing of Kevin de Bruyne, the Belgian club said yesterday.

The 20-year-old, valued at £8m, could be a Blues player by the end of the week. However, if a deal is completed it is anticipated that the left-winger will be loaned back to the Belgian champions for the rest of the season.

"(Genk director) Dirk Degraen is in London and the expectation is that it will be finished this week," a spokesman for the club said.

De Bruyne joined Genk at 14 and made his full debut three years later. He forced his way into the club's first team two years ago and helped them win the domestic title last season.

He made his international debut in 2010. He played twice against Chelsea in this season's Champions League group stage.

De Bruyne is set to become the third Belgian player signed by Andre Villas-Boas, following the arrivals of Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea are also in talks to sign Lucas Moura, one of the rising stars of Brazilian football, who is understood to have an €80million (£66.8million) release clause in his contract at Sao Paulo.

Although Chelsea are not now expected to make a bid before the January transfer window closes on Tuesday -- and never intended offering anywhere near the release clause amount for the 19 year-old attacking midfielder -- they will renew their interest in the summer if a more reasonable fee can be discussed.

Lucas has been regarded as the top target of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has exhausted every avenue in attempting to persuade Sao Paulo to agree to a deal over the last few weeks.

Sources in Brazil claimed yesterday that Chelsea, who face competition from a host of Europe's top clubs including Inter Milan, had offered €35million (£29m) for Lucas but it is understood that no formal bid has been submitted this month. Lucas and his advisers, who include the influential agent Wagner Ribeiro, have told Sao Paulo that he will remain in Brazil until the summer.

Elsewhere, Everton have agreed a fee to sell winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to Spartak Moscow. The moves marks a return to his home country for the Russian 26-year-old, who moved to Goodison Park from Lokomotiv Moscow in August 2009.(© Independent News Service)

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