Manchester City are on the verge of closing a club-record £57million deal to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao, but that may not be the only business Pep Guardiola does this month.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fred is known to be on the radar, although things have gone quiet since a report by Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Italia suggesting that an agreement could be close.
According to Sam Lee of Goal, the Blues remain hopeful of bringing in the 24-year-old this month, even with the January transfer window drawing to a close. Fred started his career in Brazil as a left-back, so in addition to having time to bed in as a Fernandinho alternate, he could also slot in at left-back if necessary.
Most interesting though, Lee claims that City are also trying to sign a third “summer” target, although with so little time remaining in the window are aware it will be difficult and may have to wait.
The identity of the mystery player isn’t revealed, although one name mentioned of late is the young Lille midfielder, Boubakary Soumaré, who Brian Marwood recently visited France to watch.
Whoever it is, should City succeed in signing all three targets this month, it is expected to be a quiet summer at the Etihad, with a cheaper fourth-choice centre-back and a forward, if the mystery target isn’t one, expected to be brought in. Any further business would depend on players leaving – for example, a goalkeeper could arrive should Claudio Bravo move on.
With the World Cup this summer and City hoping to avoid more drawn out negotiations, the club sees January as an opportunity to get some major business done early, as they are with Laporte and are attempting to with Fred.
But just who is this third target they are trying to bring in? Let the speculation begin…
To celebrate Nicolas Otamendi’s new deal, the City Store has released these new tees!