Kevin De Bruyne has played down his selection as a ‘false No 9’ in Manchester City’s impressive 3-1 win at Chelsea on Sunday.
City travelled to Stamford Bridge seeking a morale-boosting fourth straight win and scored three times inside the opening 35 minutes.
After Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring on 18, City then took control. De Bruyne teed up Phil Foden for the second before scoring the third himself.
After the game, Pep Guardiola was delighted the visitors were able to perform so ably without a clutch of players missing due to the coronavirus. He pointed to the title-winning attributes his side hane now recovered.
Much of the talking point afterwards though was around De Bruyne’s selection and his role in the side.
Despite impressing, the Belgium star was typically modest after the match.
“It was a little bizarre in the beginning,” De Bruyne told City’s website.
“I’ve done it a couple of times in my career but the head coach asked me to do this job so I tried to do it the best as possible and it’s good that we won it this way.
“The difference here is when we had the chances we took them.
“I think the years we were champions we were winning these big games.
“Last year and this season we have played some good games but not won them so I think today we showed we can win the big games.
“We’re fighting an uphill battle but we’re coming closer and that’s the only thing we can do right now.”
De Bruyne rejects new City deal
De Bruyne, meanwhile, has looks set to reject City’s opening offer of a new deal at the Etihad.
Although his current arrangement has two and a half years left to run, City are in talks over an extension.
With a new five-year deal put before him, City hope to lock De Bruyne down for his prime years in the game.
However, reports on Monday afternoon claimed De Bruyne has been left disappointed by the terms City have put before him.
As per The Times, City have offered De Bruyne a deal worth £280,000 a week. However, De Bruyne feels the deal doesn’t reflect his status as ‘the League’s best player’ and will reject it.
De Bruyne is reported to have cited the salary earned by Mesut Ozil as proof he should earn more. The German, who has now gone 10 months since his last Arsenal appearance, earns £350,000 a week.
City’s vice-captain is the second highest-paid player at the club but is, arguably, their most important star.
He has already registered 12 assists and three goals in 18 games for City in all competitions.
The report, however, states there is no feeling De Bruyne is set to quit City any time soon. Talks over an extension will, therefore, continue.