Manchester City are looking to the future with both John Stones and Leroy Sané expected to arrive soon and freshen up a ageing squad. However, City still employ four 30-plus full-backs and this area is going to need some major work in the next couple of years.
26-year-old Torino wing-back Bruno Peres has been reported as Pablo Zabaleta’s replacement for several weeks now, with much of the news coming from a well-known fan site called Toro News, which claims to have information from his entourage. After City’s denial of having ANY interest in the Brazilian, Toro News is today reporting that City have cooled their interest because of Torino’s starting price of €20 million.
Whether City are denying interest because of this impasse is impossible to know, but it begs the question of if not Peres, then who? Will Zabaleta and Sagna remain our right-backs for one more year, or will the club bring in someone else?
The Daily Mail offers a possible answer with news that City are considering a bid for Bayern Munich and Germany wonderkid, Joshua Kimmich. 21-year-old Kimmich was a Guardiola’s project at Munich and has become one of Germany’s brightest young footballers. Though a midfielder by trade, Guardiola slotted him into Bayern’s defence and the transition was seamless. During Euro 2016, Joachim Löw played him at right-back for Germany, and again the youngster had no problems.
According to the Mail, Pep would like to bring him to Manchester as Zabaleta’s successor in the right-back position. Guardiola is a big fan of versatility and Kimmich has proven he can play just about anywhere on the defensive half of the pitch, including on the right.
The Mail believes City’s starting point for a bid would be €24 million (£20 million), which Bayern would be almost certain to laugh off. Signing anyone from Bayern Munich is a difficult task and even were City to double that offer, this could prove an impossible deal. Kimmick, though, recently said that he “owes Guardiola everything” and if he were to push for a reunion in Manchester, perhaps then something could happen.
For now this should be filed under ‘paper talk’, but Kimmich is certainly the type of player Pep Guardiola would surely love to have at the Etihad.