Manchester City deny interest in two more high-profile midfielders as deadline approaches

Manchester City want to sign a midfielder before the transfer window closes, as confirmed by Pep Guardiola in his post-Chelsea press conference yesterday – but the big question is: who is the target?

A whole host of talented big-name midfielders spring to mind, but whenever asked about them, City deny having any interest.

And according to Sam Lee of Goal, yet more potential targets have been dismissed by the club. Miralem Pjanic, Thiago Alcantara and Mateo Kovacic have already been ruled out by Blues bosses in briefings and we can now add two more names to that list.

According to Lee, City have said neither Marco Verratti of PSG or Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl, the latest name back in the rumour mill, are on the list of targets they are pursuing.

There is always the possibility of a smokescreen with City not wanting to give much away after the Jorginho debacle earlier this summer, but if a midfielder is to arrive at the Etihad Stadium this summer, it is looking more and more like it will be a lower profile name.

Juventus youngster Rodrigo Bentancur was linked in July and could be one possibility, while City briefed Kovacic and Southampton’s Mario Lemina as alternative targets to Jorginho during that saga – so Lemina is another potential candidate.

With only a few days remaining of the English transfer window, City are running out of time to get Pep the Fernandinho substitute he said he would like. While the club are trying to obtain a work permit for Brazilian youngster Douglas Luiz, Pep suggested yesterday that it could be John Stones who has to step into midfield in future.

“I don’t know (about new signings), we are trying,” Pep told journalists. “We would like to find maybe one more because we don’t have players to substitute Fernandinho, but if he doesn’t come then we will stay as we are.

“If finally we can’t find another solution for somebody to play there (deep midfield) John (Stones) could play there.”

Asked if they’re close to their preferred target, Pep responded: “I don’t know. In four or five days we will know it.”

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