• Bundesliga

Wolfsburg sign De Bruyne from Chelsea

ESPN staff
January 18, 2014 « Carroll hopes to make England World Cup squad | Chartbeat test »
Kevin De Bruyne made just nine appearances for Chelsea this season © Getty Images
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Wolfsburg have completed the signing of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from Chelsea.

Chelsea and Wolfsburg confirmed the news on their respective official websites on Saturday morning, with the player's new contract in the Bundesliga to run until 2019.

"We are delighted that Kevin joins us," sporting director Klaus Allofs said. "He has always made it clear to us that he wants to join Wolfsburg."

Coach Dieter Hecking highlighted the addition of another quality player to the Wolfsburg squad. "Kevin is a player with outstanding qualities," Hecking said.

De Bruyne made a lasting impression in the Bundesliga when on loan at Werder Bremen last season, providing 10 goals and nine assists in 33 appearances despite the club's struggles near the foot of the table.

He returned to Chelsea in the summer but quickly fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho and, with the World Cup on the horizon, sought a return to Germany.

Several clubs - including Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke and Borussia Moenchengladbach - were believed to have registered an interest in De Bruyne, 22, but it became clear in recent weeks that only Wolfsburg could meet Chelsea's demands.

"We can't compete with Wolfsburg's spending power," Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller recently told Bild, while Schalke coach Jens Keller said: "We are not in a situation where we can buy a top player for €15 million."

Wolfsburg, currently fifth in the table, beat Arsenal to the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo in the summer and are stepping up their attempt to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The club are owned by Volkswagen, and Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke told Bild in December: "For many years now I have said that Wolfsburg will be at the door again. We are getting close to it now, especially with the financial backing of VW. "

The De Bruyne move has taken Wolfsburg's total spending this season to more than €40 million.

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