Kevin De Bruyne 'hatched retirement plan' before Saudi offer as transfer stance emerges

Kevin De Bruyne has an ideal retirement plan but it might hinge on his next Man City contract (Image: Getty)

Kevin De Bruyne reportedly hatched a plan to retire at Manchester City in 2026 before receiving a mammoth offer from Saudi Arabia last summer. It is claimed that the midfielder could still go ahead with the plan but the situation is described as being ‘in City’s court’.

De Bruyne has been one of the best players of his generation of Premier League talent. Since returning to England after a spell at Wolfsburg, the former Chelsea star has made 367 appearances for City and scored 98 goals.

Now 32, De Bruyne has reportedly been thinking about how he wishes to end his career. His City contract expires in the summer of 2025, leaving him with only one more season on his current terms.

However, De Bruyne reportedly planned to extend that deal by another year before bowing out aged 35. That was prior to an astronomical offer from the Saudi Pro League, which would have seen him earn £59.7million per year.

Kevin De Bruyne was reportedly offered a mammoth contract by Saudi Arabia last summer (Image: Getty)

According to The Athletic, De Bruyne intends to keep his previous retirement plan in place having snubbed the approach from Saudi Arabia last summer. However, it is claimed that dialogue has remained open with the Pro League’s sporting director Michael Emenalo.

How willing City are to offer De Bruyne the terms he wants in a fresh contract extension will reportedly be the deciding factor in whether he retires while playing for the reigning Treble winners. In 2021, De Bruyne felt that he was not being offered what he was worth and drafted in data experts to prove why.

City are known to only offer short-term contracts to players over the age of 30. Ilkay Gundogan learned that when he entered discussions towards the end of last season. The former club captain opted to join Barcelona after feeling that City intensified contract talks too late.

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Man City may see value in selling Kevin De Bruyne to Saudi Arabia (Image: Getty)

An exception to the rule was made to keep Kyle Walker last summer. The right-back had reportedly made clear his intention to join Harry Kane in moving to Bayern Munich, but was persuaded to sign a two-year extension at the Etihad Stadium.

It is claimed that City might be tempted to cash in on De Bruyne if they believe that there is value to be made. How the vice-captain recovers from hamstring surgery could be a crucial factor.

De Bruyne has made 11 appearances this season, nine of which have come since he returned from that surgery in early January. He has scored two goals.