Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea made the right decision in selling Kevin De Bruyne as the midfielder was “crying every day he wants to leave.”
De Bruyne, 24, was sold by the Blues to Wolfsburg in 2014 for a reported £16.7 million after he struggled to force his way into the first team at Stamford Bridge.
Since moving to the Bundesliga, however, the Belgium international’s value has rocketed and he has this week been tipped to complete a £50.4 million move to Manchester City.
Chelsea have been criticised by some for offloading De Bruyne too soon, but Mourinho is adamant the club did well to make what they did out of his sale.
“With De Bruyne, if you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“At that time, Chelsea did well. If De Bruyne stayed here, not happy and not motivated, and we’d sold him after a year, we’d have got less — 50 percent less than what we sold him for. So we sold him. At that moment, it was very good business.
“If somebody comes and pays for him what somebody would pay for [Lionel] Messi or Cristiano [Ronaldo], it looks from the eyes of the world that it’s bad business from us.
“But, if he was at Chelsea and not at Wolfsburg, he wouldn’t have reached this level. It was like a wall, a block. He was not ready to compete. He was an upset kid, training very bad.
“He always said he had trained well in his life, but he needs motivation to train well by playing every game. Andre Schurrle was a bit the same.”
Mourinho added that the decision to let De Bruyne go has contributed to the development of Eden Hazard.
“If you think it [De Bruyne’s sale] is my mistake, then it’s my mistake that Eden Hazard is worth more than £100 million,” he said.
“What I cannot do is bring us up to a certain level and then not play him. If I don’t play Hazard and play De Bruyne or Andre Schurrle, they would have been playing for Chelsea, but Hazard wouldn’t.”