As the Blues enter the October international break, a series of new transfer rumours have emerged in the media.
Following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Spanish club Real Madrid have struggled to fill his absence. During the summer of 2018, Los Blancos acquired Vinícius Júnior, Mario Díaz and Raúl de Tomás. Whilst the season is still early, none of the aforementioned players have lived up to Ronaldo’s caliber, and the Spanish giants currently find themselves in fourth place in La Liga.
To be fair, replicating the performances and style of Ronaldo was always going to be difficult, as the Portuguese if one of the world’s greatest players. Nonetheless, Real Madrid are lacking something in their attack and they are exploring other options. Recent reports suggest Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling could fill this void. Sterling has recently undergone new contract negotiations with City, albeit neither party have reached a settlement that would see Sterling extend his time with the Mancunian club. City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed these rumours.
Other strange reports claim of a potential departure of Leroy Sané to Italian club Juventus. The German was infamously left out of Germany’s squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and following this omission, he has failed to solidify his place as a starter for Manchester City at the start of this season.
In other news, Manchester City have closely monitored the progress of young centre back Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutch international currently resides in Amsterdam, where he plays for AFC Ajax. The enquiry for the young player is of great importance for City. Currently, the Blues have five centre backs: Vincent Kompany (32), Nicolás Otamendi (30), Eliaquim Mangala (27), Aymeric Laporte (24) and John Stones (24).
Of these five players, Kompany and Mangala are prone to injury. Moreover, Kompany and Otamendi are getting older in age, and it is likely they are nearing the end of their careers. Therefore, an additional signing at centre back would be warranted. The Dutchman’s signature will not come easy, however. Reports claim that should City wish to obtain his signature, the Blues will have to outmuscle Spanish giants Barcelona.
City are also interested in de Ligt’s fellow international and club teammate Frankie de Jong. With the departure of Yaya Touré, Fernandinho growing in age and the injury-prone İlkay Gündoğan, the Blues are lacking additional strength in central midfield. Should they obtain de Jong, this will help strengthen their depth in this position.
Finally, Oleksandr Zinchenko has once again emerged in the papers. According to reports, the Ukrainian is unhappy with the limited playing time he has seen this season. Thus far, he has only played in two of City’s 11 matches in all competitions. The lack of playing time has frustrated him.
Given these claims, Zinchenko is seeking an exit as early as the January. S.S.C. Napoli remain an interested party and hope they can muster a deal, albeit it is unknown what the extent is of these reports. The Ukrainian was close to joining Napoli in Summer 2017 and then Wolverhampton Wanderers in Summer 2018, yet neither deal was completed.
Will any of these rumours flourish to the point of completion? Only time will tell.