Kevin De Bruyne drops big retirement hint amid Man City contract uncertainty


Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on April 06, 2024 in London, England.

Kevin De Bruyne set nerves racing at Manchester City when he admitted he would be more-than tempted by the lucrative wages on offer that come with a potential transfer to Saudi Arabia.

Clarifying those comments this week, he says he 'has more than enough money' as he continues his typically-blunt talk on the subject. But while he confirmed there have been no transfer talks with anyone and that he fully expects to return to City this summer, he repeated that he would consider any transfer 'if a silly amount' is offered.

De Bruyne, who has just turned 33, is now in the final year of his City contract. There have been no talks over an extension so far, but De Bruyne expects conversations to begin soon. From these latest comments, it's fair to assume he won't be leaving the Etihad this summer unless something drastic changes in the next two months.

Then there was another interesting comment from the Belgian, speaking from his Euro 2024 camp ahead of a last-16 clash with France. With a group stage that ended in De Bruyne clashing with fans over Belgium's underwhelming performances, defeat against France could potentially be his last game in a Belgium shirt.

“I haven't thought about [his international future] yet. It may not be the case, but at the moment it is not an issue for me," De Bruyne told Het Nieuwsblad. "I feel fine. As long as that is the case, the national team will remain important to me.”

However, he added: “During international breaks, we get seven to 10 days off at City. That would be welcome for my family. But I don’t have 10 years left as a footballer. I’ve been absent from the national team a lot too.

"I’m saying it… If I keep feeling good, I’ll probably be available. I just don’t know what it’ll be like next year. There’s a crazy season coming up with City, with even more matches. It has to remain physically and mentally feasible.”

So while De Bruyne isn't saying he will retire from international football this summer, he's not ruling it out either - citing City's 11-month season that lies ahead. If the Blues go deep in the six competitions they will play, they could face 75 games in 2024/25. Add in 10 international games over five breaks and De Bruyne could face a situation where he has no real time off between early August 2024 and mid-July 2025.

And then he could be starting all over again should he pen an extension at the Etihad. He would be wise to consider his international future if he wants to prolong his club career, or perhaps more importantly, avoid injuries.

He will have to weigh up his options, including any ambition of playing at the 2026 World Cup, but his consideration of international retirement could bode well for City when it comes to getting the most out of their talisman for at least one more year.

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