İlkay Gündoğan’s cruciate knee ligament injury has come as a crushing blow to Manchester City’s aspirations this season, with news that the German midfielder’s season is over.
With City reluctant to buy in January, and more likely to go for a defender if they do, would Txiki Begiristain be tempted to look at a quick-fix midfield replacement for Gündoğan or have faith in the current squad?
Pep Guardiola is not short on midfield options, though many of the better ones are attack-minded, with Fernandinho the defensively capable midfielder who is heavily relied upon. Fernando acts as his deputy, but perhaps not at the standard Guardiola wants in the long-term. Aleix García is a young in-house option who Pep has also expressed his admiration for and given some minutes to.
However, according to Marca, City could in fact bring in a new midfielder next month and have two names that wouldn’t immediately spring to mind.
The Spanish publiciation notes that Julian Weigl of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich star David Alaba would be Pep’s preferred options, but deals in January would be almost impossible, particularly for Alaba. Marca instead focuses on two alternatives, both former Sevilla midfielders, who they claim are ‘on the list’, suggesting they are genuinely being considered by Manchester City.
The first is classy 28-year-old Argentine international, Éver Banega, who only joined Inter from Sevilla last summer on a free transfer. The second is another who only recently switched clubs, but hasn’t settled well, and that is 26-year-old Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Krychowiak has spent much of the season on PSG’s bench or used as a substitute, and Marca says a deal for him could be the most feasible for City if they go in search of a midfielder. His tackling ability could also be useful for a team struggling on the defensive side.
The article is very speculative, but Marca claim Weigl (less likely due to his expected contract renewal), Banega and Krychowiak are candidates to arrive at Manchester City in January.