Many Manchester City fans were unhappy when the club decided to sell right-back Pablo Maffeo to German side VfB Stuttgart last summer, believing he could play a role in the squad despite Kyle Walker and Danilo being available as right-backs.
Stuttgart broke their club record to sign Maffeo, handing over €10 million (£8.8 million) to City for one of their prospects, and he was expected to do big things in the Bundesliga.
However, things have not worked out for the 21-year-old Spain youth international, who has not performed well in his 9 Bundesliga appearances, and has now been criticised publicly by head coach Markus Weinzierl.
“I’m honest. He [Maffeo] doesn’t do enough in my opinion,” Weinzierl told the German press. “I criticise his willingness to perform. Gonzalo Castro and Andi Beck are currently in the lead on his position.”
And just half a season after his arrival at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Maffeo is now reportedly available for transfer, with a loan move most likely.
A host of Spanish publications including Mundo Deportivo and AS state that Real Betis, who had been interested in Maffeo last year when he was on loan at Girona FC, are at work to borrow the young full-back from Stuttgart.
It was revealed by Kicker back in July 2018 that City had two clauses inserted into the sale of Maffeo: a 25 per cent sell-on and €20 million buy-back.
Given Maffeo’s lack of progress in Germany, it would seem that the sell-on clause is more likely to be benefited from than the option to buy back the former City youth player, who made three first team appearances during his stay at the Etihad Stadium.