Jose Mourinho says that Chelsea have no regrets about allowing Manchester City’s £50m target Kevin de Bruyne leave, saying that he player did not have the right mentality for the ultra-competitive club.
De Bruyne’s career stalled at Chelsea, where he only played three Premier League games before being sent back on loan to his first club Genk and eventually enjoying successful spells at Werder Bremen and then at Wolfsburg, to whom Chelsea sold him for £18m.
The German club look to more than double that money by selling to City before the start of the season, with the winger having thrived at the club, being one of the best players in the league last season in the Bundesliga.
But Mourinho has revealed for the first time that de Bruyne effectively asked to leave, by saying that he could not cope with fighting for his place in such a competitive squad.
De Bruyne has since complained he wasn’t given a chance at Chelsea but Mourinho claims that is an unfair representation of the situation.
He said: “I wanted to keep him and he told me that 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 it’s not fair.
“The first game of the season against Hull City he played. For the second game against Manchester United, he played. The third game of the season was the Super Cup in Prague, I decided not to play him. For the fourth match, in the Premier League, he was on the bench. And he was not happy. He told me he was not happy.
“He was not training very well and I was asking for me and he was saying “I can’t give you more. This is just my way.” So I accept that if this 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.
“He didn’t tell me he couldn’t handle the pressure. He told me he didn’t like and that he wanted to play every weekend. I told him this is Chelsea, you are very young, you have Eden Hazard, you have Juna Mata, you have Willian, you have Andre Schurrle, and I cannot promise you that.”
Mourinho claims he wasn’t disappointed by de Bruyne’s attitude, but simply accepted the player wasn’t the right fit at Chelsea.
He said: “Players are players and they 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.”