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Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million

Manchester City have signed one of the stars of last season's Bundesliga campaign. But he didn't come cheap.

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: DPA

Kevin De Bruyne has moved to Manchester City from VfL Wolfsburg for an estimated €80 million, once again demonstrating the financial muscle of the English Premier League, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The 24-year-old De Bruyme was widely recognized as the star of Wolfsburg's young team last season, which surprised many pundits by finishing second to Bayern Munich last season. Some had even been tipping them for the title this year.

The young attacking midfielder set up 21 goals for teammates last season and is seen as a highly technically gifted player.

But some German commentators have expressed concern about the benefit of the move for his career, pointing out that an earlier spell at Chelsea ended in failure.

Focus magazine's Marcus Plein wrote that the shy De Bruyne could struggle to assert himself in a team full of highly paid superstars such as those at Manchester City.

This is not the first time that an English club has swooped in and paid big money for a top Bundesliga talent this summer.

In June, Liverpool FC paid €41 million for Hoffenheim's Brazilian forward Firminio, a transfer that unleashed a wave of soul searching among German commentators as to how Bundesliga clubs could compete with the huge money being thrown around by English clubs.

Then in July, world champion and German national team champion Bastien Schweinsteiger shocked fans of his boyhood club Bayern Munich by deciding to join former English champions Manchester United.

This latest transfer – and particularly the money involved – has again made eyeballs water. Plein called it a “fatal signal for the Bundesliga” and speculated that Wolfsburg may have found it impossible to refuse the money and ended up pushing De Bruyne towards the exit gate.

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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