The transfer saga regarding Kevin De Bruyne's uncertain future at Stamford Bridge has taken another twist after the midfielder's agent revealed that several of the Bundesliga's top clubs are interested in signing his client.
Speaking to German newspaper Express (h/t ESPN's Stephan Uersfeld), Patrick De Koster stated that "five of Germany's top six clubs" are looking at the 22-year-old with a view to cutting a deal during the January transfer window.
Per Uersfeld's report, De Koster says:
I will fly to London next week to find a solution with Chelsea. Should Kevin be allowed to leave, I will call [Bayer Leverkusen squad manager] Michael Reschke within 30 minutes. We have an excellent relationship.
Dortmund, Gladbach, Schalke and Wolfsburg have also been in touch with me. Kevin will take a look at where is best for him.
Like many fringe players, De Bruyne is one of those growing ever more conscious of playing time ahead of the 2014 World Cup and continues to be linked with a departure from West London, his representative seemingly confident of a quality destination being found.
De Koster hints that Leverkusen could be the most accommodating choice for the player, but it's unknown as to whether Sami Hyypia's side, or Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund for that matter, will make an official approach for a player ineligible to represent them in the Champions League.
So far this season, the playmaker has made just four starts for Chelsea across all competitions and has played 18 minutes of first-team football since the beginning of November.
Kevin is showing desire and working very hard. I feel sorry for not giving him big opportunities up to now, but he's working better than ever. He's sad when he's not selected or playing, but he's working professionally which, for me, was a change from the beginning. When he works the way he is, he has to have a chance.
With Mourinho seemingly more aware of the talent he has on his hands, things may begin to look up for De Bruyne at Chelsea, but even that may not be enough to convince him of staying past January.
Should De Bruyne leave Stamford Bridge in January?
Having made an impression in Germany, it's no surprise that the likes of Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke are drawn to De Bruyne, who has already proved he can adapt to the Bundesliga pace.
Of course, De Koster's words are to be treated with a hint of caution. Agents are, after all, acting in the best interests of their clients and therefore benefit from generating interest.
One thing for certain is that this won't be the last heard of De Bruyne's protracted departure from the Bridge, with the midfield asset facing a make-or-break month in the new year.