The arrival of Brazilian star Gabriel Jesus is just one example of how Manchester City are looking to the future, as club chiefs try to reduce the average age of the squad.
Two of City’s greatest veterans still on the books are club captain Vincent Kompany and midfield talisman Yaya Touré, a duo that any City fan would instantly associate with the success of recent years. However, with Touré likely to leave the club when his contract ends next summer and Kompany constantly stricken by injuries, Pep Guardiola must look to the future and a new era.
And according to the Daily Mail tonight, City have targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder William Carvalho as potential replacements for the two club icons.
Van Dijk, one of the Premier League’s best centre-halves this season, was linked with a move to the Etihad at weekend, and now a second newspaper has suggested that City’s interest is legitimate. Stylistically, he is an ideal fit for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, with excellent defensive ability and good passing skills. City are said to have scouted the 25-year-old Dutchman extensively in recent weeks, including during Southampton’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool at St Mary’s.
William Carvalho, the stocky Sporting CP and Portugal defensive midfielder, is a new name to be linked. The 24-year-old was part of Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning team, starting in the final, and has long been linked with a move away from Sporting, with neighbours United commonly linked. With an average pass completion rate of 89%, he has good technical qualities, though there have been questions about whether he has the pace required for the English game.
Carvalho has a prohibitive €50 million release clause and Sporting have no intention of selling for less, but it is reported that his representatives opened talks in Barcelona on Thursday over a summer move to the Premier League.
Like BILD reported earlier today, the Daily Mail report that Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Julian Weigl, is also under consideration, but add that this could be a difficult deal to pull off with the Bundesliga side reluctant to sell.