I left Liverpool for more money – I'd understand if Kevin De Bruyne quit Man City for same reason

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on March 10, 2024
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness says he'd understand if Kevin De Bruyne left England for more money - because he did the same.

Manchester City maestro De Bruyne has refused to rule out a future move to the Saudi Pro League, admitting the potential earnings are an attractive prospect. He turns 33 this month and is out of contract next year.

Souness drew comparisons to the Belgian's current situation and the one he found himself in back in 1984 when his six-and-a-half-year association with the Reds came to an end after 358 appearances and 56 goals.

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The Scot left to join Sampdoria, admitting the financial incentive played a major role in that decision. “I was guilty of leaving for money when I left Liverpool," Souness said on the Up Front podcast. "I said I was going to live in Italy because I’d earn a lot more money – I was very honest about that."

He also can see why De Bruyne would consider the switch from a playing perspective too. While he's been at the top of his game still in the Premier League, Souness fears his injury record could soon catch up to him.

“In the case of Kevin De Bruyne, in the past two years he’s missed something like 39 games, and it’s closer to 50 over three seasons," he continued, arguing: "That’ll only get worse as well with age and with the physicality of the Premier League.

"There was a black and white moment towards the end of my career where I thought, ‘I’m [physically] done at this level’ – I was 34 playing for Glasgow Rangers, there was a player called Ian Ferguson who just brushed me aside and took the ball, and I thought, ‘did that just happen?’"

Souness believes De Bruyne is well within his rights to begin slowing down his career, which has seen him win virtually everything there is to win with City.

He added: “I don’t hold anything against the likes of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for what they’re doing – they’ve earned their stripes. You look at Messi going to Miami, which is a Latin city and somewhere where his kids and family can grow up and be happy. If De Bruyne were to do the same with Saudi I wouldn’t have any complaints.”