MONTE CARLO: Wolfsburg have effectively conceded defeat in their hope of keeping Kevin De Bruyne out of the hands of big-spending Premier League leaders Manchester City.

General manager Klaus Allofs, speaking in Monaco after the Champions League draw, said the clubs were close to agreement after reports that the Bundesliga want £54m for the Belgium midfielder.

Allofs said his club could not compete with the financial muscle of the Premier League in general and City in particular after their offer to the 24-year-old.

He said: “He’s had an astonishing, astonishing offer from City and we can’t compete with that. We had to take it seriously and that is the way we react with our players and finally we decided to start negotiations with City.

“During the day we have gone on with negotiations and we’ve got closer to each other. But the deal is not already done. So hopefully we will find an end tonight or tomorrow morning.


“I would prefer to keep him, not to get the money. But the money now is really the issue because Kevin was qualified with Wolfsburg for the Champions League and he was a key player and took the next step.

“At Chelsea he was not that good and I know the story because I took him to Werder Bremen two years before and then to Wolfsburg. It will be very difficult – apart from Bayern Munich – to compete with the Premier League in the future.

“It is a big blow if he is leaving Wolfsburg but, you know, it’s a difficult situation. Have a look at the statistics. Kevin did I don’t know how many assists and he scored 10 goals so he was, he still is, a key player for Wolfsburg. It’s a situation that nobody was thinking about when he started with us.”

Allofs said the Premier League’s television money posed a huge challenge for all of German football.

He added: “Even the last team in the Premier League has much more money than Bayern Munich in TV money so this is already the situation. It’s a big task for our football league to get more money out of TV rights and we have to compete with that and hopefully we can.”