City Xtra’s 11th edition of the Daily Transfer Round-up is dominated by today’s news that young defender Eric Garcia has decided to leave Manchester City – either this summer or the next.
Just one day after Manchester City completed the signing of centre-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, Pep Guardiola confirmed that his star youngster Eric Garcia has rejected the prospect of a new contract at the Etihad Stadium.
That news comes alongside a few more developments in City’s pursuit of a new midfield option, the potential loan departure of another of City’s brightest talents, and the possible destination of one of their all-time greats…
Radio Gar Gar
Pep Guardiola dropped the bombshell in his press conference today that Eric Garcia, Manchester City’s brightest young prospect not named Phil Foden, is to leave the club either this summer or the next.
The 19-year-old is set to depart for Barcelona, the club from which City poached Garcia three years ago, after he made the decision this week not to renew his current contract, which expires at the end of next season.
City offered the youngster a new contract at some point this week, according to 90Minand various other outlets, leaving the decision on his future entirely up to the player. Marcareported that he was “thinking about” staying to play under Pep Guardiola, whose “seductive power” was important, but Garcia decided today, according to Pol Ballús, that he wished to return to his boyhood club.
Some have speculated that the signing of Nathan Ake, as well as the continued pursuit of Kalidou Koulibaly, will have dampened Garcia’s wishes of consistent first-team minutes. However, his performances in the Champions League as well as in the Premier League did suggest Guardiola was planning on making the defender a key part of his team going forward.
According to James Robson at the Evening Standard, ManchesterCity have placed a £20 million price tag on Garcia, with an additional £10 million in add-ons. It remains to be seen whether Garcia will start tomorrow evening against Real Madrid – a game that could define City’s entire season.
El Mago on the move
The Manchester City magician is enjoying his last ever season at the Etihad, much to the sadness of all City fans who have watched him create special moments throughout his decade in Manchester. There has been some speculation over his destination when his contract runs out at the end of this season, but Italian side Lazio have emerged as frontrunners to acquire the Spaniard, according to various sources.
The club are in ‘advanced talks‘ to sign Silva according to journalist Nicola Schira, and has been offered a contract until 2023 worth €3 million, plus add-ons, per year.
The 34-year-old has reportedly decided to accept the proposal, after being offered a ‘key role‘ by Simone Inzaghi. An agreement regarding some final details, including bonuses, is yet to be reached between the parties involved, however.
That signing, of course, would provide a Rome derby between Silva’s Lazio and a Roma team featuring Aleksander Kolarov and Edin Dzeko. Tasty.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s name is constantly on the agenda this transfer window – the Senegalese captain has been long-touted as Manchester City’s top-choice target in the centre of defence.
The club have officially contacted Napoli to find out about Koulibaly’s exit conditions, according to Foot Mercatoin France. The two parties have planned to meet next week, and a first offer could arrive by then. Koulibaly would be ‘delighted‘ to move to England – his preferred destination. If he was to come to the Premier League, surely City would be the only option.
In addition, over the last two weeks, discussions regarding Kalidou Koulibaly have ‘gone a little further‘. Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain has indicated to the player’s agent, Fali Ramadani that he is ready to offer a ‘substantial salary‘ to the player to secure his services.
One Dave out, one Dave in?
A relatively new name on Manchester City’s shortlist is Bayern Munich’s David Alaba – a player who is anything but new to Pep Guardiola, who worked with the Austrian during his time at the Allianz Arena.
Alaba is increasingly tending towards staying at the German club, and extending his contract despite interest from several clubs, according to Kicker.
The 28-year-old is an incredibly versatile player, having played across the back four, in central midfield, and on either wing. He is primarily a left-back, however – a position in need of reinforcement according to many. Those characteristics, as well as his history with Guardiola, make him a really exciting option, but his insistence on remaining with Bayern means City will most likely have to look elsewhere.
Hunting for Houssem
Talk over Lyon midfielder Houssem Auoar has resurfaced today, with Manchester City refusing to “hide their interest” in the 22-year-old. Should ‘a bid deemed satisfying‘ arrive for the reported Manchester City target, Lyon ‘won’t hold him back’, according to reputable French outlet Le Parisien.
While there is no agreement between Aouar and his club officially, a club source has said ‘everyone knows’ what the situation is in relation to Manchester City’s interest.
Finally, we turn to another Manchester City departure. Claudio Bravo, signed in 2016 with great promise only to fade into restricted cup duties, has been linked with Spanish club Real Betis as his contract expires this summer.
Bravo has spoken about a potential move to Spain, saying of the club, “It’s an institution that has a great history in Spain [with] many fans.”
The 37-year-old would be playing under former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who left the club to make way for Pep Guardiola, who signed Bravo in his first season.
“There are clubs that any player is struck by – imagine what Betis means now with a great coach like Manuel [Pellegrini].”
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