De Bruyne joined the Premier League club in January 2012 and was sent out on loan to Werder Bremen last season.
The 22-year-old has found first-team opportunities hard to come by since Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge, featuring just three times in the league this season.
As a result, the former Genk man has been linked with a permanent transfer in January, and Wilmots is eager to see De Bruyne playing first-team football ahead of next year's FIFA World Cup, nominating his former club, Schalke, as a good move.
"My request is that Kevin De Bruyne plays regular first-team football," Wilmots told German paperSport-BILD.
"Everyone knows what he is capable of. Schalke is a special club for me and it would be great to see a player of this quality play for Schalke 04.
"Kevin De Bruyne is a player that many clubs are about to consider."
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