Manchester City are at increasing risk of losing Kevin de Bruyne, as Saudi Pro League chiefs are reportedly ready to step up their hunt for the attacking midfielder with a ‘jaw-dropping’ contract offer. De Bruyne was targeted by Saudi officials in the summer, as they looked to take a plethora of top stars from Europe to the Middle East. While world-class players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Neymar and Sadio Mane are now playing in Saudi Arabia, De Bruyne could not be convinced to make the switch.
The playmaker made just one Premier League appearance at the start of the season before picking up a muscle injury, which is expected to keep him out of action until December. De Bruyne has been a fantastic servant for Manchester City, having notched an incredible 96 goals and 153 assists in 358 matches, helping them to win a host of trophies. But recent reports have suggested the Citizens might not hand him a new contract if his injury problems persist.
And with his current deal set to expire in summer 2025, this could result in a transfer away from the Etihad at the end of the campaign. Earlier this week, it was reported that Al Nassr have pencilled in a meeting with De Bruyne’s agent. Then, on Friday, Saudi chiefs got the ball rolling by sounding the 32-year-old out for a move. According to an update from Football Insider, Saudi officials are determined to make De Bruyne their latest big-name capture and will try to lure him to the country with a massive contract offer.
Should De Bruyne leave though, then he will go as a modern-day Manchester City legend.
There will be ‘jaw-dropping’ finances on offer. The report does not mention exactly how much De Bruyne could earn, or which team in particular is at the front of the queue to complete a deal. But if previous reports are to be believed, then it is Al Nassr who are leading the charge. This could see De Bruyne form an unstoppable partnership with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
De Bruyne currently takes home £400,000 a week at Manchester City. At Al Nassr, though, he could earn way more than this. Ronaldo is admittedly an extreme example, but he is picking up a whopping £3.6m per week in Saudi Arabia. It will be a shame if De Bruyne departs the Premier League at the end of the season, as many Manchester City fans will feel he still has plenty more top performances in him.
De Bruyne has helped the club to win one Champions League, five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, five League Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup. De Bruyne is not the only elite Manchester City man who could soon find a new club, as Real Madrid have reportedly drawn up a huge offer for one of his team-mates. As Arsenal fought Manchester City for the title last season which would eventually fall away from them allowing Pep Guardiola and his team to once again lift the trophy, there was a frustrating undertone for Gunners supporters.
The reality however is perhaps even worse for Arsenal.
Questions regarding the 115 alleged breaches that were leveled at their title rivals that were never going to see a resolution within the timeframe of last season. The Premier League has called for a harsh penalty for Everton who are accused of breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) and if found guilty could end up with a 12-point deduction, a record for a Premier League side. Naturally, this news has seen attention again switch to Manchester City and the continuing referral by the Premier League to a Commission that continues to work on the situation.
It has been relatively quiet since the news came to light early this year. There is good reason for this and perhaps why Arsenal supporters, at least for now, need not worry themselves over it. The reason being, is that the sheer volume of allegations that Manchester City are facing means a lengthy process is being undertaken that could take years to fully process.
James Carragher made the rather amusing quip online comparing Everton’s potential punishment to what could face Manchester City if they were found to be guilty. The Premier League wants a 12-point deduction for Everton for one charge, Manchester City are going to end up in the National League North if the Premier League get their way. The reality is with the Commission conducting its assessment of the allegations in private and confidential settings, it is unlikely there will be any information regarding when is a conclusion until its end.
Therefore perhaps the anxiousness will emerge from the not knowing.