Ferran Torres Exit
In fact, the biggest storyline around City this month is the exit of forward Ferran Torres. The 21-year-old impressed during his maiden season in England, scoring seven times in just 15 Premier League starts.
After a series of bids from Barcelona were turned down, the two clubs have agreed on an initial fee of £46.7million with a further £8.5million in add-ons – financed by a new loan taken out by the Catalans.
However, Barca will be unable to register the former Valencia forward, unless they sell players in order to meet LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
Zinchenko Wanted By Newcastle
Another City star linked with a winter departure is left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Ukrainian utility man is wanted by Newcastle United after making just a handful of Premier League starts this season.
Zinchenko, 25, could have left City previously but decided to stay, according to Guardiola.
The Spanish tactician said: “Oleks [Zinchenko] fought a lot to be at Man City, a transfer was possible, he said ‘no I want to be here’. His quality with the ball is exceptional, we know it.”
In Benjamin Mendy’s continued absence due to legal issues, the Ukrainian has shared the left-sided role with Joao Cancelo. If he leaves, a replacement will have to be sought.
In terms of incomings, expect a quiet month at the Etihad Stadium as City – along with a number of Europe’s elite clubs – jostle for position ahead of a potentially explosive summer.
Erling Haaland’s £63.5million release clause becomes active at the season’s end and that will spark an almighty scramble for his signature. According to various reports, City are among the numerous clubs interested in Borussia Dortmund’s prolific forward.
They face stiff competition from Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea for a player who recently became the quickest to hit 50 Bundesliga goals.
Haaland only joined BVB from RB Salzburg in January 2020 but has quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after players on the continent, netting 27 times in as many German top flight starts last term.
Dusan Vlahovic On The Radar
A No9 has long been on Guardiola’s wish list and City were heavily linked with Harry Kane in the summer. But after refusing to meet Daniel Levy’s £160million asking price for the Tottenham Hotspur forward, City have made do with a rotating cast of forwards including Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan.
Another frontman who could bolster City’s attacking options is Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic. The 21-year-old has been a Serie A sensation in the last two campaigns and hit 21 goals for La Viola last term.
The 6ft 3in striker is already closing in on that total this season and will continue to attract admiring glances from the Premier League and beyond.
All in all, expect a quiet month in the blue half of Manchester. But when what they’ve got is so good, it’s not easy to enhance it.
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