Kevin De Bruyne is edging closer to a move away from Chelsea after holding crunch talks with the club on Thursday - and Bayer Leverkusen are leading the race to secure his services.

The 22-year-old has been a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho and wants to secure regular first-team football in order to safeguard his place in Belgium's squad for next summer's World Cup.

The midfielder and his agent yesterday met with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's senior adviser Marina Granovskaia, sporting director Michael Emenalo and Mourinho to address his situation ahead of next month's transfer window.