De Bruyne close to signing long-term City deal

English Premier League leaders Manchester City are close to agreeing a new long-term contract with Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, British media reported yesterday.

The 26-year-old signed a six-year deal when he joined City from Wolfsburg for a club record £55 million (S$99.2m) in 2015, but his new contract could run to 2024, according to the reports.

The Independent said that de Bruyne was expected to double his current wages to about £200,000 a week excluding bonuses.

City's owners want to reward de Bruyne for his superb performances this season in their Premier League record 16-match winning run.

"I've no feeling to go anywhere else and enjoy being part of the project here and playing the kind of football we are playing," the Belgian said in the match programme ahead of City's 4-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

City, who are 11 points clear at the top of the table, visit Leicester City in the League Cup quarter-finals this morning (Singapore time).

"The team is going in the right direction and that's also important. I made the right decision coming to City and my family feels the same so everything is good," he added.

The former Chelsea player, who helped Belgium qualify for next year's World Cup Finals in Russia, has scored six goals in this season's league to go with his eight assists.

Such have been his performances that ex-Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp has said that de Bruyne is the best passer the EPL has ever seen.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: "In Kevin de Bruyne, we have a midfielder whose passing is on another level. His range is the best I have seen.

"The slide-rule pass to play in a teammate, the cute reverse passes, the sweeping cross-field balls - there is nothing the Manchester City midfielder cannot do." - WIRE SERVICES