Club Brugge CEO Vincent Mannaert’s exit from the club was decided in part due to a disagreement over the sale of rising star Antonio Nusa to Chelsea.

That’s according to journalist Peter Vandenbempt, who has covered Mannaert’s departure today and how Chelsea played their part in it.

Mannaert announced his departure from Brugge yesterday, revealing that he is set to step down as CEO at the end of the season and bring a 12-year association with the club to an end.

The announcement came after something of a difficult year for him in Belgium, where he had been reprimanded by the board of directors for his behaviour and alleged alcohol abuse.

Club Brugge stuck with him, but it was clear from reports in Belgium that his relationship with the club had become troubled, particularly after owner Bart Verhaeghe put the club up for sale at the end of May.

That was seen as a further sign that the relationship between the pair had deteriorated and was on the rocks, something which appears to have been confirmed by Mannaert’s announced departure at the end of the season.

Vandenbempt now goes into further detail on the matter and reveals how Nusa’s failed move to Chelsea was one major issue between the pair of Brugge directors.

“I can well imagine that Mannaert had run out of energy,” he said.

“You increasingly hear that Mannaert would like to do something different within football and no longer wants to bear responsibility at Club.

“Only the time is a surprise. I hear that certain agreements had been made about this. In previous months it had become clear that Vincent Mannaert’s era at Club Brugge would come to an end, the tandem with Verhaeghe no longer functioned as before.

“The tension between the two was palpable within the club, I’m told. Much more than they let on at the press conference today. There was a difference in vision – we shouldn’t make it worse than that.

“For example, Verhaeghe refused Mannaert’s heavily negotiated deal of €30m plus bonuses with Chelsea for Nusa.”