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Ex-Genk chief Degraen: Chelsea almost signed De Bruyne, Courtois for €3.5M

Former Genk chief Dirk Degraen has revealed how Chelsea almost signed Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois for a joint €3.5m.

The pair were signed by Chelsea in 2011.

"We raised the bar on transfer sums at that time. When I arrived, a million euros was a lot of money," said Degraen to Het Laatste Nieuws.

"Chelsea's first bid for De Bruyne and Courtois was €3.5m. For both of them."

He also revealed: "Aston Villa would provide six million for Benteke. Don't hesitate, management said. Negotiations continued day and night, leaving 10 million. I miss the excitement of negotiations."

De Bruyne and Courtois would eventually move to Chelsea for a combined £14m.

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Paul Vegas

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