De Bruyne willing to take Man City captaincy
Kevin De Bruyne will "gladly" accept the Manchester City captaincy should his team-mates choose him as the player to take over from the departed Vincent Kompany.
City are without a club captain since Kompany left for Anderlecht at the end of last season and they are yet to confirm who will fulfil the role next term.
De Bruyne came on as a substitute in City's first pre-season friendly on Wednesday, setting up the final goal in a 4-1 rout of West Ham, who they face in their opening Premier League fixture.
Pep Guardiola confirmed after the match in China that City's squad will pick the next captain when all of the players have returned to pre-season training.
And De Bruyne says he would be more than willing to take on the challenge.
"If the team wants me to be captain, I will gladly accept it," De Bruyne told reporters.
"But, I think everyone needs to talk about it as a team and as a club. It will be spoken about when everyone comes back.
"I think we need to do that together because it's a really important job, not only on the pitch, but off it."
I think everybody did a good job and we need to work hard.— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 17, 2019
I’m happy with the performance for the first game of the season. I’m maybe a little bit more tired than happy.@DeBruyneKev
As well as new club-record signing Rodri, City academy graduates Tommy Doyle and Taylor Harwood-Bellis were handed their first appearances in Nanjing, and in an example of his leadership qualities, De Bruyne lauded the youngsters for their performances.
"If you play for one of the best clubs players in the world, to be a youth player and get through [to the first team] you have to be exceptional," he said.
"I started in Belgium, the level is not the same as it is here [in England]. It's maybe easier to get more chances. If you want to play for us, you know what the level is and if you perform on the pitch you will get the chance.
"I think they did really well and I'm happy to see that. A great moment for many of them to start for the first time for a club like us."
City's pre-season tour continues on Saturday when they take on Wolves in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy.