Kevin De Bruyne tells Manchester City to about-face focus to Champions League

Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City’s ambition must be to win the Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s side secured the Premier League title on Sunday after winning the EFL Cup in February, yet thoughts are turning to how the team can improve.

Last week City were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool at the quarter-final stage. De Bruyne said: “That’s the next step for us. We have played some great games in the Champions League and we’ve not been too far away. Maybe we haven’t gone as far as we would have liked but there have been performances along the way that show we could do something special in the future.

“It’s great to play at the highest level and success doesn’t come easy when you’re playing against teams who have been around it for so many years, but we improved a little on [the last-16] last season and we’ll look to do the same again next year. It’s what we all want; to do the best we can in all of the competitions and the Champions League is no different.”

De Bruyne hopes that Guardiola can strengthen the squad. “It’s important for the club to add new players and to keep getting stronger,” the Belgium international said. “That’s true for all teams. We have a great group of players right now and with a few additions here and there hopefully that will take us on to another level. Competition will be even tougher next season and we have to be ready for that.

“Not only in the Premier League but in the Champions League and the cup competitions too. If we want to keep achieving I think competition for places is a good thing and only makes you try to improve as a player.

“The feeling among the squad is great. We have enjoyed the season a lot but there is work to do if we want to achieve more in future. That can be the trickiest thing in football, to not only win but keep winning. Having such a young squad will hopefully help us to achieve that.”