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Chelsea close to De Bruyne capture

25 January 2012 17:18

Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Genk winger Kevin De Bruyne, with a club official revealing the transfer could soon be concluded.

However, the Belgian outfit will not be affected by his departure just yet, with Andre Villas-Boas planning to loan the 20-year-old straight back to Genk until the end of the season.

Genk's general manager Dirk Degraen was reported to be in London on Tuesday as the two clubs looked to wrap up a deal for the player.

A Genk spokesman said: "Dirk Degraen is in London and the expectation is that it (the transfer of De Bruyne) will be finished this week."

"The assumption is that Kevin de Bruyne will be transferred to Chelsea and then will finish the season (on loan) at Genk."

Villas-Boas believes the youngster's presence will allow Juan Mata to play more of a free role at the club, and also sees De Bruyne as the long-term replacement for Florent Malouda, who is likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

However, with the Belgian international ineligible for the knock-out phases of the Champions League, he is set to finish the current campaign at Genk before making his Premier League bow.

De Bruyne will join compatriot Romelu Lukaku at the club, with the striker signing for the west Londoners from Anderlecht last season.

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