The speculation over Kevin de Bruyne's future refuses to subside, with the Belgian international today linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.
De Bruyne, 22, has been on the fringes of Chelsea team this season and manager Jose Mourinho allegedly doesn't see him as part of the future plans at Stamford Bridge, opening the door for a move away. His international boss, Marc Wilmots, has urged the former Genk man to leave West London in order to play first-team football an guarantee his place on the plane to Brazil next summer as Belgium prepare for the tournament.
A number of Bundesliga have been linked with a move for de Bruyne, who spent the whole of last season on loan at Werder Bremen, but a move to Atletico Madrid may just be the perfect move for him. Diego Simeone's men have reportedly opened talks with Chelsea over taking de Bruyne to the Spanish capital, and whilst he was concerns over how much first team action he would get, talks are supposedly at an advanced stage.
Atletico have now emerged as a genuine contender to Barcelona and Real Madrid's dominance in Spain, and are continuing to rack up wins domestically and in the Champions League, despite selling star striker Falcao to AS Monaco in the summer. Diego Costa has more than fulfilled the void left by the Colombian, and Atleti now have to try and keep hold of him – something they failed to do with other goalscorers such as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero.
De Bruyne would have little to worry about in terms of breaking into Atleti's team, particularly if Turkish winger Arda Turan was to move on, with a number of Premier League teams monitoring his situation. Koke regularly plays out wide under Simeone, but he is better suited to playing in the middle of midfield, and even he could move to England, with Liverpool and Manchester United both reportedly keen on adding him to their squads.
The Belgian would have the chance to establish himself in an emerging team, which would be an attractive proposition for any young player, and with compatriots Thibaut Courtois and Toby Alderweireld already at the club, he won't be short of familiar faces. In fact, Alderweireld recently voiced his support for de Bruyne's proposed move to Atleti, saying; "It will be fantastic if he joins Atletico in January. Kevin is an excellent player. He knows how to play football.”
With first team opportunities hard to come by for de Bruyne, there are few better moves than the one to Atletico – it would certainly be better than a move back to the Bundesliga, as Atleti can now offer Champions League football and a title challenge.
image: © azuaje