Belfast Telegraph

De Bruyne dismisses injury fears

Chelsea forward Kevin de Bruyne has dismissed reports of an injury sustained while on international duty with Belgium.

Earlier on Tuesday it was suggested the 22-year-old had sustained an ankle injury and was taken to hospital, making him doubtful for the Group A leaders' match with Croatia on Friday.

De Bruyne wrote on Twitter: "Just to say. I'm fully fit for the game against croatie. No injury at all."

De Bruyne is a key figure for the Red Devils, who need a point against the second-placed side in Group A to advance to next summer's finals in Brazil, despite being marginalised at Chelsea this term.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has left De Bruyne out of his squad in recent weeks and is demanding more from the player who impressed on loan at Werder Bremen last season.

Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen, meanwhile, has urged Manchester United's Brussels-born prospect Adnan Januzaj to decide to represent his country of birth, although he concedes the teenager must "follow his heart".

Januzaj's international future has been the subject of widespread speculation in the wake of his stunning full debut for United at the weekend when his brace helped the Barclays Premier League champions fight back to defeat Sunderland 2-1.

England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed he is keeping an eye on the 18-year-old, who is of Kosovan descent and is eligible to play for several different countries, including Belgium, Albania and Turkey.

Januzaj has yet to decide which country he wants to represent, but Vertonghen hopes he chooses Belgium, telling Sky Sports News: "Come and play for Belgium, good things are going to happen here. I hope he's joining us.

"I've seen the game (against Sunderland) and he looks a very good player. Of course it's his choice, he has to follow his heart, but I can advise him that we have a good team here."


From Belfast Telegraph