LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Kevin De Bruyne of KRC Genk warms up during a KRC Genk training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 18, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
You'd have expected the Kevin de Bruyne stories to be over, what with his loan to Werder Bremen being confirmed already this week. Not so! A portion of Bremen's official release seems to have a few Chelsea fans worried. Here it is:
SV Werder Bremen have secured the services of Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne as the 21-year-old offensive midfielder leaves Chelsea with immediate effect and moves to Werder on loan until 30 June 2013 with a buy-out option. Werder board chairman Klaus Allofs confirmed Thursday morning the loan of de Bruyne after he passed the physical.
It's possible to interpret the 'buy-out option' as a 'purchase option', and not knowing the contract I can only speculate on what this actually means, but I'd say that there's no cause for alarm. Ed note: Werder Bremen have confirmed that there's no purchase option. What I'd guess has happened is that Chelsea have the ability to recall de Bruyne (they'd do so in case of an injury crisis), but would have to pay his new team for the privilege.
This would make complete sense if Werder Bremen have paid a loan fee. I'd expect that they have, and although we haven't heard about it it's not exactly uncommon for loan fees to go unreported. Them paying Chelsea to bring in what should be an important player on a season-long loan means that they should be compensated if we yank him back to cover our own problems. So the Blues have the option to buy de Bruyne out of Bremen before the loan expires.
That makes a lot more sense than any other possibility (the other reasonable option is a simple mistranslation). I simply cannot imagine that Chelsea would embed a purchase option in a loan deal for a prospect they paid significant money for last January.