He had performed wonders in the Bundesliga with Werder Bremen, starring in a struggling side who barely avoided relegation.
Chelsea fought hard to keep hold of him this summer among interest from Germany, and he started against Hull City on the opening day of the campaign.
So he seemed to be on the radar for Jose Mourinho this season, but he has now dropped out of the squad as Mourinho admitted he has not been impressed with him.
But this is a World Cup season, and De Bruyne happens to play for one of the most competitive national teams in the world right now … Belgium.
So he needs to play week-in-week-out in order to cement a place in the squad - which doesn’t look likely at Stamford Bridge.
And with Belgium confirming their place in Brazil with a 2-1 win in Croatia last night - De Bruyne must be starting to wonder about his future.
Despite Mourinho saying ‘his time will come’ and his agent stating he ‘is going nowhere’ surely an offer from a big club could not be ruled out without conversation.
And according to reports in Italy, that could be just round the corner.
It is believed that scouts from Juventus watched him in action against Croatia last night - and the Bianconeri are now ready to make a move for the player in January.
It is believed that De Bruyne will be part of a double swoop, as Juventus also look to bolster their attacking midfield options with the arrival of Frenchman Antoine Griezmann from Real Sociedad.
Any deal for De Bruyne is likely to cost Juve around £6 million, with VfL Wolfsburg their main competition for the player.
All that remains is to see if De Bruyne is ready to give up on his Chelsea career, and indeed, if Chelsea are ready to give up on him.
Watch this space…
Could Juventus snap up De Bruyne this winter?
image: © Erik Daniel Drost