Saturday 22 October 2016

No Man City bid for Kevin De Bruyne as Dzeko nears exit

Manchester City have been heavily linked with Wolfsburg's former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City have been heavily linked with Wolfsburg's former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne

Wolfsburg say they have not received an approach for Kevin De Bruyne despite strong reports linking the former Chelsea midfielder with Manchester City.

It has been claimed City have opened talks over a deal for the 24-year-old, with suggestions the club could be prepared to pay a British record £60million.

But the Bundesliga club, who have previously insisted the player is not for sale, claim there has not been contact.

"Nothing has arrived here. And neither Kevin nor his agent have told me they want to leave," sporting director Klaus Allofs told the German media.

City have been linked with De Bruyne, who was sold by Chelsea for £18million last year, throughout the summer but have not commented on the speculation. Club officials again declined to comment when asked about the latest reports.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini, however, has been speaking about the future of striker Edin Dzeko, who has been linked with Roma.

Dzeko, a £27million signing four years ago, did not feature in City's pre-season outing against the Italian side in Melbourne on Tuesday and Pellegrini has indicated he could leave the club.

Speaking at a press conference in Australia ahead of City's next friendly against Real Madrid, Pellegrini said: "Edin didn't play the last game as it's not clear if he will continue here or not, but he is still working here with the whole squad."

Bosnia international Dzeko, 29, signed a four-year contract at City last summer but scored only six goals in an injury-hit 2014-15 campaign.

New £49million signing Raheem Sterling made a goalscoring debut against Roma and another high-profile capture, Fabian Delph, is likely to make his first City appearance against Real at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

England international Delph initially rejected a move after City activated his £8million release clause from Aston Villa but then changed his mind and signed last week.

Pellegrini said: "We are near to the start of the Premier League so I think that the senior players will have more minutes than the last game and I think Delph will be involved."

Pellegrini was joined for pre-match media duties ahead of the International Champions Cup fixture by midfielder Yaya Toure, who was asked about his own future.

Toure's status was again thrown into doubt after more comments from his erratic agent Dimitri Seluk late last season but the player stated his commitment and has reiterated that position.

The 32-year-old said: "There was too much speculation about me leaving - it's clear that I have my contract at City and I want to see out my contract."

Former Barcelona player Toure has two years remaining on his deal at the Etihad Stadium but hopes to play on beyond that.

The Ivory Coast international said: "I always try to be at my best. Sometimes it's not easy but that's part of the game.

"Football for me is everything. I know my job well and sometimes I hear people try to know better - I don't want to respond.

"I want to do my best for the club and to try to help my team-mates. I can play until 40, I know my quality and that's all."

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