LONDON • Kevin de Bruyne has claimed that his chances at Chelsea were limited because he was not bought for a huge fee.
The Belgium midfielder believes that the south-west London club would have taken more notice of his abilities had he arrived for a significantly larger sum than the £7 million (S$14.6 million) that they paid Genk four years ago.
De Bruyne ended up joining Wolfsburg in 2014 after making nine appearances for Chelsea.
However, his outstanding form for the German club resulted in Manchester City paying a club-record £54.84 million to secure his services last summer.
"It makes a huge difference (whether a club paid a lot of money for you)," he told La Derniere Heure, the Belgian newspaper.
"I would have played more at Chelsea had they paid as much for me as City did. That's the way things work in this business."
De Bruyne - whom former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said could not cope with having to fight for his place - believes that there is a stronger team spirit at City than at Stamford Bridge.
"We have a lot of stars but everyone acts normal," de Bruyne, who has scored 10 goals for City this season, said.
"There are no groups within the team, we all get along very well. It's hard to compare this group to that of Chelsea. Maybe we are more united.
"Everything has gone really well for me. It normally takes a bit of time to adapt to your new surroundings, but I immediately got to play a lot and that sped things up a bit."
The City player added: "It's great to play for an attacking team like City. It gives me more space.
"If I didn't play well at Wolfsburg, the team struggled as well. That's not the case here at City."
THE TIMES, LONDON