Manchester City are in talks to sign 22-year-old forward Mamadou Sylla from La Liga club Espanyol, according to Barcelona-based newspaper SPORT.
Sylla moved to Spain from Senegal at the age of ten, entering Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy before moving to CE Mataró and then his current club, Espanyol. After playing for Espanyol’s B team, he began to get game time in the first team, and has made 13 appearances in total.
City are willing to pay more than €1 million (£850,000) for Sylla and will sign him on a five-year contract if talks between the clubs are successful. The one condition is that he is immediately loaned to City’s partner club in Spain, Girona, meaning he would follow in the footsteps of Rubén Sobrino and Florian Lejeune.
After a year at Girona, City would then assess Sylla’s progress and decide what to do next with him. The main obstacle is that Sylla believes he is good enough to play in La Liga, and Girona remain in the Segunda División after narrowly missing out on promotion. Belgian club KAS Eupen, having just won promotion to the top-flight, have made a rival offer where they would pay €200,000 (£170,000) to sign the young forward on a one-year loan deal.
Sylla will make a final decision in the coming days on whether to join Manchester City or stay at Espanyol and move to Belgium on loan.