The Belgium coach believes the young playmaker would be better off leaving Stamford Bridge in search of regular first-team football, and would like to see him at Schalke
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 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 paper Sport-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."