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From Ben Jacobs: Saudi Arabia ‘almost certain’ to make offer for Manchester City star valued at over £100 million



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Manchester City, as things stand, are ‘almost certain’ to receive a blockbuster proposal from the ambitious Saudi Pro League for legendary midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

Arguably one of the greatest footballers to ever grace the Premier League, De Bruyne is rapidly approaching the final years of his top-level playing career, with fitness and injury problems starting to cause an increasing number of problems for the Belgian.

This season alone has been perhaps the strangest in his top-level career, having missed the entirety of the first-half of the campaign through recovery from hamstring surgery undertaken in the opening month of the domestic season.

Returning to Manchester City action in January, Kevin De Bruyne has been close to sensational at times for Pep Guardiola’s side, delivering goals and assists at vital times and moving himself towards the top of the contribution charts within the first-team set-up at the Etihad Stadium.

However, despite his continued love from Manchester City supporters and importance to Guardiola’s system in the majority of matches across competitions, his future remains somewhat uncertain as the summer market approaches.

According to the information of Ben Jacobs reporting for 90Min, Manchester City still want Kevin De Bruyne to extend his contract beyond 2025 and there is ‘optimism’ that he will.

However, should the 32-year-old agree to a move to Saudi Arabia in the coming months, it is further detailed within the report that a ‘creative and versatile midfielder’ would become a priority for Etihad Stadium bosses.

At present however, according to the report, ‘there is nothing to indicate’ De Bruyne is ‘entertaining’ such a move at this time, despite being a top Saudi target. Unless De Bruyne signs a new Etihad deal before the season ends, it is said to be ‘almost certain’ that Saudi dealmakers will make Manchester City an offer.

From the Middle-Eastern side of the interest, it is claimed that Saudi Pro League sporting director Michael Emenalo is already aware that Kevin De Bruyne will cost at least £100 million, regardless of his Etihad Stadium contract situation.

Manchester City, in the meantime, are understood to be putting together contingency plans in preparation for a possible change of heart from Kevin De Bruyne, after the Belgian rejected approaches from the Middle-East last summer.

City are admirers of a number of names from across Europe in creative midfield roles, with Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala and West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta among the names to appeal to Etihad bosses.

Txiki Begiristain and his boardroom colleagues are likely to trim their transfer shortlist in the coming weeks as they intensify approaches to a number of clubs ahead of the opening of the summer market, with a view towards getting their business done early.