Manchester City have already displaced Champions Chelsea after making a perfect start to the new Premiership season. Despite three victories including a 3-0 win over the Blues, the Manchester club are now set to sign Kevin De Bruyne for a reported £58 million fee from Wolfsburg.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini has tried to distance himself from speculation over the imminent arrival of De Bruyne but the former Chelsea midfielder seems destined for the Etihad. The 24-year-old Belgium International joined Chelsea from Genk in 2012 but was loaned out to Werder Bremen before signing for Wolfsburg in January 2014.
Last season he broke the Bundesliga record with 21 assists and also contributed ten goals. City have been chasing him for some time with an initial bid of £47 million rejected by Wolfsburg. The revised free is believed to be around £58 million including add-ons and sends an important message to City’s Premiership rivals.
They have scored eight goals without conceding in their opening three games and have already splashed out on Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph this summer. With James Milner having left the Etihad in search of a regular starting place at Liverpool, the player most threatened by De Bruyne’s arrival is Jesus Navas.
It had been a fairly quiet summer in the transfer market, aside from the Sterling saga, but City’s latest move and reports of further activity from Chelsea have injected new life into the battle for Premiership supremacy. Manuel Pellegrini’s future at the club had been questioned after City were left trailing by the Blues last season but they finished strongly and now have a squad that is arguably one of the strongest in Europe.
David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero have all started the new Premier League season in top form. Their comfortable 2-0 win at Everton was their ninth successive victory in the Premiership, equally a 103-year-old club record. They will establish a new record if they defeat Watford this weekend. They then face Crystal Palace, West Ham and Sunderland and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they can win all of those matches to ram home their advantage in the Premiership title race.
With Jose Mourinho seemingly re-assessing his squad in the wake of a faltering start and Arsenal also dropping points, it is Manchester rivals United that may be City’s closest pursuers. They won their opening two games before being held to a goalless draw by Newcastle at Old Trafford. A Wayne Rooney hat-trick on Wednesday night secured their place in the Champions League group phase and Louis van Gaal will be delighted with their early season form. Just three weeks into the new season, there is no doubt that Manchester City are clear title favorites.