Kevin De Bruyne is reportedly close to agreeing a move back to the Premier League with Manchester City, but his former manager Jose Mourinho says the Belgian struggles to deal with competition for his place in the team.
City are said to be close to tying up a British-record deal to sign De Bruyne from Wolfsburg, who he joined from Chelsea in January 2014.
The 24-year-old playmaker enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in the Bundesliga last term, and it is thought City are willing to surpass the £59.7million fee Manchester United paid for Angel Di Maria last year to bring him back to England after they also splashed out up to £49m on Raheem Sterling.
Mourinho claims that while he wanted to keep De Bruyne – who has since said he was treated poorly by the Portuguese – the deal to sell him for around £18m just 18 months ago was right for Chelsea.
“That is unfair because I wanted to keep him,” said Mourinho when asked about De Bruyne’s criticism of him.
“And he told me it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team. He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important.
“He did not want a team where he thinks am I playing or not? He needs that trust, he needs that quality. He needs that security. So I was not happy when he left. So yes it’s not fair.
“He didn’t tell me he couldn’t handle the pressure. He told me he wanted to play every weekend. I told him this is Chelsea, you are very young, you have Eden Hazard, you have [Juan] Mata, you have Willian, you have [Andre] Schurrle, and I cannot promise you that.
“So yes, I accept that if this is his mentality and it’s his choice to go, it is better for Chelsea to make a good deal. Chelsea made a good deal and he was happy to go and I am happy because the kid is a good kid. And I am happy for him.
“Players have different circumstances. We sold him, made our money and it was fantastic because we bought him cheap and sold him for a fantastic price. And now Wolfsburg if they make a fantastic deal, that is good for them.”