The recent departure of Willy Caballero from Manchester City all but confirmed that Pep Guardiola will dip into the market for a new goalkeeper this summer, with Claudio Bravo likely to stick around despite a poor debut season in the Premier League.
The most popular names linked are Ederson Moraes of Benfica and Jordan Pickford of Sunderland, but a third name that has also been common in the rumour mill is Gianluigi Donnarumma, the 18-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper many believe will be the world’s best in the not-too-distant future.
Donnarumma was first linked with a move to the Etihad all the way back in November, when Alessandro Alciato of Sky Italia claimed that City had positioned themselves ahead of over elite European clubs in the hunt for the teenager.
Since then, stories have continued to pop up in the press, but never with as much detail as the Ederson links for example.
However, today’s front cover of Corriere dello Sport reiterates that City want to sign the Italy shot-stopper and are waiting and ready with a ‘mega bid’ if he and Milan cannot agree on a new deal.
Crucial talks are coming up between Donnarumma’s agent, the notorious Mino Raiola, and Milan club chiefs, that could define the future of a player with just one year remaining on his contract.
Milan’s stance is that they refuse to sell him in the summer transfer window and will make him sit in the stands if he will not put pen to paper. This would be very unlike a typical Italian club, who would normally cash in on such a valuable asset while they can.
There is a suspicion that Raiola could be using Manchester City’s name (and wealth) as a bargaining tool with Milan, as the two sides are still far away from an agreement. But given the number of stories in the past six months, plus Pep Guardiola’s public praise of the teenager, perhaps there is some credibility to claims that City are in for him.