Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Guardiola in dreamland as double greenlight arrives for Man City to sign elite Walker replacement

Pep Guardiola giving instructions to Kyle Walker

Man City manager Pep Guardiola giving instructions to Kyle Walker

Man City have learned that Achraf Hakimi is keen on joining them this summer after being identified as an ideal target by Pep Guardiola and the club’s recruiters, per a report.

Finding a new right-back will be an important task for Man City this summer if they lose Kyle Walker. The England international is the subject of strong interest from Bayern Munich, which could be an appealing option for him to accept.

Indeed, a report on Friday indicated that Walker has said yes to Bayern. If the two clubs can agree a transfer fee, his time at the Etihad Stadium could be up.

In that case, Man City would need to sign a replacement at right-back. One of the biggest names on their shortlist is Hakimi, who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain.

According to Football Insider, though, Hakimi would be willing to leave PSG in order to complete a move to Man City.

Although personal terms do not yet seem to have been agreed, it is something Hakimi appears willing to explore if Man City firm up their interest.

And in addition to getting the green light from Hakimi himself, senior Man City officials have also thrown their support behind a potential bid for the 24-year-old.

Man City could break bank for Hakimi

The report claims Guardiola and his recruitment team have identified the Morocco international as one of their favourite targets at right-back. In fact, the club would be willing to pay a ‘premium price’ in order to sign him.

After all, PSG will be commanding a high transfer value for Hakimi, who is under contract at Parc des Princes until 2026.

Man City will be able to take encouragement from the player’s stance ahead of any potential bid. Hakimi not only wants Premier League football, but he wants to experience it under Guardiola’s management.

That said, the treble winners are still weighing up alternatives, such as Benjamin Pavard from Bayern. The fact that he could swap places with Walker directly may make that an easier negotiation.

But Hakimi would be a slightly more exciting option from an attacking perspective. Last season, he scored five goals and added six assists from 39 appearances across all competitions.

In contrast, Pavard got seven goals and one assist from 43 outings, more than half of which were actually at centre-half. Meanwhile, Walker registered just one assist and no goals from his 39 matches.

Hakimi also has age on his side in comparison to Walker and Pavard. The calibre of clubs he has represented – Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter and PSG – suggests he could be capable of making an impact for a side as strong as Man City as well.

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