Manchester City’s successful pursuit of England defender John Stones has set the wheels in motion for two defenders to leave the club.
21-year-old Belgian international Jason Denayer has been hoping, for two successive summers, that he would be given a chance in the first-team. A year ago, he, Rony Lopes, and Kelechi Iheanacho were officially promoted to the first-team squad, but by the end of the summer, with the sudden arrival of Nicolás Otamendi, he was back out on loan.
One year later, with the arrival of Pep Guardiola, a renowned coach for developing young players, there seemed to be fresh hope for Denayer. However, the centre-back has barely been used in pre-season and following interest from Galatasaray, where he spent the previous campaign, he is heading for the exit again.
Denayer and his entourage will inform City that he wishes to leave the club, according to DH.be in Belgium. The player believes he has little chance following Stones’ arrival, with Kompany and Otamendi also in Guardiola’s plans, and will ask to leave either permanently or on loan. Besides Galatasaray, many English clubs are said to be interested in him.
The second defender on his way is Eliaquim Mangala, one of City’s most expensive signings. Like Denayer, Mangala has been hard to spot in pre-season with Guardiola preferring to test midfielders at the back in the absence of Kompany and Otamendi, and prior to Stones’ signing.
Today’s edition of L’Equipe reports that super-agent Jorge Mendes is already working on a solution for the 25-year-old, with interest from Valencia and AC Milan. City pushed Mangala in the direction of Valencia a year ago, following Otamendi’s arrival, but the Frenchman rejected the move and wanted to fight for his place. AC Milan have new wealth from Chinese investment, though it is believed they won’t be able to spend much this summer. For both interested clubs, a loan deal with an option or obligation to buy may be the best solution.