I had to get out of Chelsea: Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne, who was signed by Manchester City for £54m just 19 months after Jose Mourinho told Chelsea to sell him for £18m, has revealed he was desperate to leave Stamford Bridge after the manager dropped him without any explanation.
The Belgian started two of the first three games of Mourinho's second spell at Chelsea in 2013, but had only two conversations with the manager when he found himself replaced by André Schürrle - one of which gave him the false impression that the Portuguese thought he was improving.
De Bruyne's starts were subsequently restricted to three League Cup games and in the last week of December he told the club that he wanted to leave.
"I didn't get any explanation (for being dropped)," said de Bruyne, who is in line to make his first start for City against West Ham this evening.
"I only talked with him twice - Mourinho. That was before the game against Basel (in late November 2013, when de Bruyne appeared for the last four minutes). He said I was doing better, in his opinion, and that I would get my chance.
"I think that was maybe November. And then one week before January, that's the day I said I wanted to go out because even if I was training better, I was not getting any minutes. So for me personally, it was better to go." De Bruyne was sold in January 2014 to Wolfsburg, where he flourished.
"I don't regret it," he said of his Chelsea experience. "I just needed to go so that things could be better for me."