Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday announced the signing of Belgium playmaker Kevin De Bruyne from German side Wolfsburg on a six-year contract.
City did not disclose how much they had paid for the 24-year-old former Chelsea player, but British media reports said the fee was a club record in the region of A?54 million ($83.6 million, 74 million euros).
“Manchester City are delighted to announce that Kevin De Bruyne has joined the club on a six-year deal,” City announced on their website, alongside a picture of De Bruyne holding the number 17 shirt.
De Bruyne said: “I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.
“I think this is the most important for the club, the players and for the fans of course.”
The fee beats the A?49 million Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling earlier in the window
The deal eclipses the A?49 million that City paid Liverpool to secure Raheem Sterling’s services and smashes the Bundesliga transfer record of 41 million euros, which Liverpool paid Hoffenheim for Brazil forward Roberto Firmino in July.
It also represents a three-fold increase on the fee of A?18 million that Wolfsburg paid Chelsea to sign De Bruyne in January 2014.
“We are very happy to have added Kevin to our team and I have no doubt that he will be a big success on his return to the Premier League,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the club website.
“It takes a special footballer to improve our squad and I have no doubt that Kevin is certainly one of those -a he has all of the mental, physical, tactical and technical attributes required to fit straight in.
“We like to play attractive, attacking football and bringing in a player like De Bruyne will only aid us as we fight on four fronts.”
As well as Sterling and De Bruyne, City have also signed defender Nicolas Otamendi and midfielders Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts as they look to reclaim the Premier League title lost to Chelsea last season.
De Bruyne is expected to line up on the right-hand side of Pellegrini’s attack, alongside Sterling and David Silva and in support of lone striker Sergio Aguero.