'I do not know him so well' - Newbie won't convince £17m Chelsea star to follow

Kevin De Bruyne is widely expected to join VfL Wolfsburg in the coming days. However, newbie Junior Malanda would have had nothing to do with it.

This summer saw plenty of Premier League teams linked with a switch for Zulte-Waregem midfielder Bernard ‘Junior’ Malanda.

One of the stars of a team that went to the brink of a shock Belgian League title glory last season, the teenager was said to be keen on a move away last summer - and he was prepared to go to extreme means to get his own way.

Utilising a little known Belgian youth labour law, the 18-year-old managed to break his contract with the club - essentially making him a free agent.

The player went AWOL as the club tried to convince him to stay and an exit became more and more likely.

At that point Fulham were quickly made the favourites for his coveted signature - seemingly taking over from Everton and Arsenal in the running for the player, while Chelsea and Tottenham were also keen.

But any hope of seeing him playing Premier League died when VfL Wolfsburg announced his signing in August.

Since then he returned to his former club on loan until the end of 2013. But now he is at the Volkswagen Arena - and has flown straight out with the club to their winter training camp in Abu Dhabi.

German media however have one pressing question to ask him - and it involves a fellow Belgian talent.

Chelsea star Kevin De Bruyne is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer - and many a Bundesliga club wants him after his excellent form on loan at Werder Bremen in 2012-13.

But even if anyone does meet his valuation, there is the small problem of choice. Reports suggest that Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and of course Wolfsburg are all interested in his signature.

Today however it is reported that De Bruyne has made a decision on his future - and that Chelsea now hold all the cards for a potential £17 million move to the Bundesliga.

So Malanda was asked whether he might have any influence on the players decision.

But for Wolfsburg fans it is bad news in this respect - as Malanda made it clear he would not be the missing jigsaw piece in the De Bruyne transfer puzzle:

"I do not know him so well."

However it seems he might have made that decision all by himself regardless.

image: © Erik Daniel Drost

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