Rodrigo Hernandez, Angelino, and Joao Felix amongst the names linked with summer moves to the Etihad
With a possible transfer ban looming over Manchester City, the club look likely to flex their financial muscle in the market this summer. The Blues had a relatively modest outlay last year, spending just £60m on Riyad Mahrez whilst recouping a similar amount for the likes of Angus Gunn, Brahim Diaz and Pablo Maffeo. Fans and punters are already waiting for the online betting sites to provide odds on transfer deals this summer whilst waiting for the football season to start again.
The departure of captain Vincent Kompany, who has joined Anderlecht as player-manager, means that Pep Guardiola is likely to want a new centre half to complement Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. Cover in midfield for the ageing Fernandinho is also a priority, after missing out on top target Jorginho last summer.
Below we look at some of the players City have been linked with, and assess how likely a transfer to The Etihad is in each case.
Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of the 22-year-old midfielder, and City are believed to be ready to trigger the €70m release cause in his contract with Atletico Madrid. The Spanish international has been likened to Sergio Busquets, and Guardiola’s assistant Mikel Arteta recently said:
“Rodri closely resembles what Busquets is. Few people read the game alone. Those who anticipate scenarios, who are mentally stable and who can be a coach in the field — like Xabi Alonso or Xavi Hernandez.”
Likelihood of move: 4.5/5
The young full-back left the club just last year, but has enjoyed an outstanding season at PSV Eindhoven. City are believed to have a buy-back option that could see him return to the Etihad for just €6m. Oleksandr Zinchenko filled in admirably last season, but ongoing injury concerns with Benjamin Mendy means that Guardiola could be in the market for cover at left-back.
Likelihood of move: 4/5
The young Portuguese star is one of the most sought-after talents on the continent after a break-through season with Benfica that saw him score 15 goals in 26 Primeira League games. However, the Blues are likely to see his €120m release clause as prohibitive and already have Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus competing for the lone striker role. A move to Atletico Madrid seems a much more likely scenario.
Likelihood of move 2/5
Matthijs de Ligt
The Ajax captain is admired by many of Europe’s leading sides after leading the Dutch club to the semi-finals of the Champions League. PSG, Manchester United and Juventus have all been linked with the 19-year-old, but it is thought the player favours a move to Barcelona to join up with ex-team mate Frenkie de Jong.
Likelihood of move 1/5