Shortly after Man City’s terrific win against Spurs at Wembley, a slew of stories surfaced linking players to summer moves to Man City. It is no surprise that City are targeting players this summer, looking to improve their squad. A few surprise names a few familiar ones with Pep have resurfaced.
Thiago Alcantara: According to the Daily Mail, Pep Guardiola wants a reunion with Thiago. Pep brought Thiago through the ranks at Barcelona and eventually brought him to Bayern Munich during Pep’s spell there. There is no doubt that Thiago is a Pep Guardiola favorite, who is a gifted technical player that can be played all over the midfield. According to these reports, Pep wants “quality over quantity” signaling that the competition needs to improve within the team now. Which also signals that the bench needs improvement. Pep Guardiola also recently suggested that David Silva will have a lesser role post World Cup in Russia, stating, ‘‘Next season, David maybe will not play every game, that’s why the squad has to be big.’’
My Take: I absolutely believe these reports. Obviously its just rumors, but Man City need more competition in the midfield and need the bench to improve. Our depth isnt as great as lead to believe, which is part of the reason why we had a late season slump. If City are to challenge for the Champions League, they must improve the squad, top to bottom. Midfield is the most important position on the pitch for Pep. City could still use atleast 2 midfielders, 1 holding and 1 more technical midfielder. Having Yaya Toure ride your bench all year as an unused sub isnt good enough for the likes of Man City.
Kylian Mbappe: According to Simon Mullock if the Mirror, Man City are monitoring the situation of Kylian Mbappe. PSG are being investigated for FFP ( finial fair play) for last summers transfer dealings. If found guilty, they will be booted out of the Champions League and have to pay huge fines, which would in return would force them to not cash in on Mbappe, who is currently on loan at PSG. PSG spent so much money last summer that they were unable to pay Monaco the funds necessary to outright buy Mbappe. Monaco loaned Mbappe to PSG with a £167 million option to buy him at the seasons end. If PSG get hammered with FFP sanctions, it could alter their plans, which would make Mbappe available.
My Take: I do not buy too much stock into this rumor. First off, in this same article, it states that PSG have a contractual obligation to pay Monaco the £167 million for Mbappe. If cleared, there is nothing anyone can do about it. Also, the article states that PSG executives are not worried about the situation and believe they will be cleared of wrong doing when they meet with UEFA executives next week. Mbappe is a true number 9, City have 2 world class strikers in Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero. Gabriel Jesus is likely to take the helm as City’s number 1 striker next year too. Mbappe might be a top rated player for Pep, but he is not really needed for what this team needs in the attack.
Eden Hazard: According to the same reports from the Mirror, Man City are continuing to pursue Eden Hazard of Chelsea, who is becoming increasingly frustrated at Chelsea. Hazard has yet to sign a new contract, which is worrying Chelsea officials, with his name being linked with moves away almost daily. If Hazard fails to sign a new contract, it may force Chelsea to sell him to the highest bidder, which Man City are apparently ready to spend £150m million on.
My Take: At first glance, these reports dont have much credibility. Why would Chelsea sell Hazard, their best player to a direct rival for trophies? I personally haven't put much stock into these rumors, which has persisted since early January. However, these rumors are not going away and they continue to persist. If Hazard does fail to sign a new deal, Chelsea maybe forced to sell one of world football’s best players. If Real Madrid dont go after him, Man City could certainly make a move. I do not believe this will happen, but at this point, we should be monitoring this situation and see what happens.
Matthijs De Light: According to the Mirror, Man City are after another CB and are ahead of Arsenal and Bayern Munich for Ajax wonder kid Matthijs De Light. Ajax have put a £50 million price tag on the player. According to experts in the Dutch League, De Light has been dubbed the next Virgil van Dijk. At just 18 years old, he is a regular with Ajax, and according to reports, the player is “hungry for first team football”.
My Take: Buy this kid. Hes the next big super star at CB. City need to be targeting a top young CB. We need to buy a player that will be okay with rotation and willing to learn and develop his skills even more. There will be plenty of room for playing time and with Kompany entering his last year on his contract, De Light could be the heir to Kompany.
Eder Miltao: According to Yahoo Esportes, Man City are targeting Brazilian wonder kid Eder Miltao of Sao Paulo. Eder is a 20 year old CB and a top prospect in Brazil. According to these reports, City are trying to sign him on a pre contract in the summer while he runs his contract down till the season ends in Brazil, similar to what they did with Gabriel Jesus when he signed with us.
My Take: If Pep and co think this kid is great, try and sign him. As I said above, we need to be grooming a top young CB for the future. CB is a tough position to find, I prefer that we groom a CB for the future than to over spend on a veteran one.
Wilfred Zaha: According to the Daily Mail, Man City are monitoring Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace. City are in search of a winger, and City are seeing if Zaha has the “mentality and match intelligence to succeed at a top club”. Zaha is a former Man United player, where his spell there was disastrous, which lead to his departure. His time at Crystal Palace has been a success though, with the player racking up 140 appearances and 23 goals in all competitions.
My Take: This report has surfaced before, and I do think this would be a good move. A player that would work on the wings and compete and rotate with Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling. Part of what makes City so interested in the player is that not only is he young and a good performing player, but he will help with their english quota. I do think this is a possibility in the summer, especially if City do not go back for Riyad Mahrez.
It was a fantastic day for Man City yesterday inching closer and closer to the English Premiere League Title. The day capped off with some even more interesting news with numerous players linked with moves to Man City. In my opinion, Thiago and Wilfried Zaha are the rumors I believe have the most credibility. I think both of those players have a decent chance at coming to City in the summer if Man City do pursue them. I would monitor the situations of both the young CB’s De Light and Eder. Man City need to groom a young CB for the future. I would not buy much stock into Hazard and Mbappe, though Hazards situation does seem fragile right now.