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 By Ben Gladwell

'Wolfsburg now top three in Germany'

De Bruyne has been trusted to play a crucial role for Belgium and so far, he's repaid that faith.
The arrival of Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne from Chelsea helped Wolfsburg finish fifth in the Bundesliga last season.

Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs believes his club are the third force in German football behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, and says they now need to demonstrate that on the field.

- Napoli want Wolfsburg winger Perisic - agent

Die Wolfe, surprise champions in 2009, finished fifth last season to mark their return to Europe after a four-year absence.

Allofs is confident that Wolfsburg is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect to players, and that Champions League qualification could lie ahead next season.

"We've reached a point where there are few alternatives for players in the Bundesliga," he told Sport1. "Alongside FC Bayern [Munich] and Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg is a very good option."

The arrivals of Luiz Gustavo, Ivan Perisic and Kevin De Bruyne are testaments to the newfound allure of a club based in a city renowned for its car manufacturing. Indeed, it is the backing of the Volkswagen group which has helped fund such moves, and fuel lofty ambitions.

"We're not making any secret of our desire to qualify for the Champions League in the coming years," Allofs added. "But we're not getting carried away. We haven't forgotten that we were battling against relegation only a year ago, but we know that we have good prospects.

"Our coach [Dieter Hecking] is doing a great job and the conditions are good. We can be self-confident that we've already achieved a thing or two, but we still have a lot more planned."

Wolfsburg kick off the 52nd season of the Bundesliga at defending champions Bayern on Aug. 22.

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