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MLS emerges as shock transfer destination for 367-appearance Manchester City star



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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could favour a future move to the United States over a potential transfer to the Saudi Pro League.

The 32-year-old is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium next year and has already been linked with a potential exit from Manchester City, with Saudi Arabia poised to test the resolve of the Belgian international for a second successive summer.

De Bruyne turned down the opportunity to move to the Middle East last summer but Manchester City are braced for further approaches, with offers potentially forcing Etihad chiefs into unplanned contract renewal talks.

City handed 33-year-old Kyle Walker a new deal until 2026 amid interest from Bayern Munich in September, but allowed former club captain Ilkay Gundogan to leave on a free transfer to Barcelona despite the midfielder being willing to extend his stay with the treble-winners.

De Bruyne has been directly involved in 10 goals in 11 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side so far this season, with the Belgium international having returned from a five-month absence due to hamstring surgery last month.

The midfielder’s return has hugely boosted the Blues’ silverware hopes, with City still in contention to retain all three of last season’s trophies – the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

De Bruyne opened the scoring during Manchester City’s first-leg win over FC Copenhagen in the Champions League last-16 earlier this month, but was named a substitute for recent wins over both Brentford and Bournemouth due to fresh injury concerns.

The 32-year-old is expected to reject approaches from Saudi Arabia again this summer, however the midfielder star is reportedly attracted by the potential opportunity to play in the United States.

De Bruyne is claimed to have always considered the possibility of retiring in the more traditional manner by moving to the MLS, according to The Athletic’s Sam Lee.

A move to the USA, should De Bruyne still want to continue playing beyond leaving Manchester City, could reportedly suit him and his family more than a move to Saudi Arabia.

De Bruyne has three young children and has been at Manchester City for almost a decade, having signed from Wolfsburg in 2015 for £54 million.

The midfielder has won 14 trophies during his time at the Etihad Stadium to date, making 367 appearances and scoring 98 goals.

Manchester City have acted ruthlessly in the past with contract renewals of senior players however, with Sergio Aguero not offered a fresh deal in 2021.