The ink has barely dried on Raheem Sterling's contract with Manchester City, and already his team is looking at its next big signing. The shiny object of the moment is Kevin De Bruyne, lately starring at the Volkwagen Arena for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. City are rumored to be set to launch a £40 million bid for the Belgian star, though it's expected that Wolfsburg would prefer to hold out for at least £10 million more.
It's a lot of money, but City aren't exactly shy of spending money. After all they just shelled out £49 million on Sterling, and have no problem pushing £100 million in transfer spending every season. With revenues at an all-time high thanks to the mind-bogglingly huge Premier League TV deals that the teams get to share in, their transfer budget could be incredibly huge, even with Financial Fair Play looming as a factor.
Here's the thing, though: Manchester City don't really need De Bruyne, especially not after signing Sterling. Of course, with City, need is relative, so let's dig into the sense of this rumor.
Why it makes sense
Manchester City love them some shiny new attacking players, and De Bruyne certainly qualifies. He was one of the very best players in the Bundesliga last season, leading the league in assists by a wide margin with 20 and scoring 10 goals for kicks. As those totals suggest, he's got top-notch creative vision and the passing skills to match, as well as the ability to finish off chances of his own, from free kicks, driving into the box or taking shots from range in open play.
That sheer ability plus De Bruyne's ability to play anywhere across the attacking midfield band -- though he's definitely best behind a striker -- would be attractive to any top side, and City are no exception. With Kun Agüero and David Silva joining Sterling in Manchester's attack, it's easy to start dreaming of De Bruyne combining with them and tearing up the Premier League and Champions League.
Even when all four don't start, City lack another quality playmaker if Silva isn't starting, so De Bruyne would give them an incredibly valuable second option for their attack. When you play as many high-leverage games as a team like Manchester do, having quality depth and versatile options like De Bruyne has a value that just can't be measured.
Why it doesn’t make sense
A fee between £40 and £50 million is a lot of money, especially right on the heels of signing Sterling for a similar sum. Manchester City have deep pockets, but they also have needs outside of the attack -- in defense, in central midfield, and likely at striker too. City can sling around a lot of cash, but they've already been slapped with Financial Fair Play violations once -- if they do it again, the penalties will be much more severe.
So with a laundry list of far more pressing needs -- generated by impending sales of players like Eden Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, as well as disappointing performances from the likes of Fernando Reges, Fernandinho, and most of the defense -- buying De Bruyne just doesn't seem like a great idea right now. Maybe later in the summer once their needs are met and if there's space in the budget that adds up to what Wolfsburg want, sure, but now? No way. Not with so much else to do first.
Likelihood it happens
While there's a ton of reason that Manchester City shouldn't buy Kevin De Bruyne, it's also hard to deny that this is exactly the kind of transfer that they'd try for. A flashy, attacking player just starting to come into his prime and currently hugely desirable? Yeah, it's easy to see City do this. Still, though, with so much else needed and only so much they can spend in a single season, there's enough reason to think they'll at least wait before going after De Bruyne -- but there's no way to rule it out entirely, because Manchester are just a little bit crazy. So we're giving the chances of this one a 4/10.
This is a post from our transfer rumors section. For news, analysis and more, check out the main SB Nation Soccer page.