As Manchester City continue its summer transfer window squad refresh, the fates of multiple key squad members hang in the balance. Gabriel Jesus is inching towards a move to Arsenal, while Raheem Sterling remains the subject of transfer speculation.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has also been linked to a move away from the Etihad, with the Ukrainian reportedly seeking consistent playing time in a midfield role.
Oleksandr Zinchenko is open to leaving #ManCity this summer if a club could offer him regular minutes in a midfield role. @ManCity are however ready to open talks over a contract extension for the player, with Zinchenko known to be happy at the club.— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) June 9, 2022
Should Zinchenko pursue a move away from the Etihad, City could facilitate a deal that works out for all three parties involved.
Zinchenko has become somewhat of a cult hero during his seven-year stint in Manchester. He came to City as an attacking midfielder, but has spent the better part of five seasons deputizing at left-back for Guardiola’s side. Despite only starting 30% of Premier League games during this time, Zinchenko has posted numbers rivaled only by Europe’s top attacking full-backs.
With City preparing to bid for Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, a more natural left-back, Zinchenko’s role within the City side will likely be limited once again next year. Should he wish to play exclusively in the midfield, like he does for the Ukrainian national team, consistent starts would be even less frequent.
Leaving City would allow Zinchenko to not only play more minutes, but to play higher up the pitch in doing so.
So, if Zinchenko authorizes a move, what clubs will be vying for his signature? Well the short answer is several. Arsenal, West Ham, and Everton have rumored interest in the player, with links to Everton appearing most concrete. Arsenal are another intriguing option, as the player and manager Mikel Arteta have a previous relationship from Arteta’s time at Manchester City.
Realistically, Zinchenko would be a brilliant signing for every Premier League team not named Manchester City or Liverpool. He’s technically and tactically adept, Premier League and Champions League proven, and will likely be available for a reasonable price.
City simply cannot guarantee Zinchenko a starter’s role next season, especially if they complete a deal for Marc Cucurella. By selling him, City will make a substantial profit on a player who cost the club £2.2 million back in 2016, while giving the player an opportunity to succeed elsewhere.