Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs has revealed that Kevin de Bruyne is now earning four times as much with Manchester City as he was getting at the Bundesliga club.
The Belgian moved to the Barclays Premier League outfit at the end of the summer transfer window, despite still having four years to run on his contract with the Wolves.
His sale - for a Bundesliga record fee of 75 million euros ($84m) - was unavoidable, according to Allofs, with the money put on the table by City too much for the player to turn down.
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"When a player comes to you with an offer from a club willing to pay him four times as much [as he is already earning], then you've got to consider what's going through his head," Allofs told Die Welt newspaper.
"We had looked for a solution which would have allowed us to keep hold of him for at least another year, but when that was not possible, it was clear that we would sell him."
Wolfsburg tried to convince De Bruyne, who was voted the Bundesliga's player of the year last season, to sign a new deal with them on improved terms, but it became evident in their first few games of the season that his mind was already elsewhere.
It was therefore decided to accept City's offer, which was "maybe a unique opportunity," according to Allofs.
"Nobody could guarantee him that he would receive the same offer again," he added.