Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to sign Amine Gouiri as their next centre-forward, according to reports in Europe.
City opted not to replace Sergio Aguero immediately when losing him as a free agent in the summer. Guardiola has since been using a system that largely relies on a false nine. There is enough quality in their squad for it not to be a major issue.
However, finding an out-and-out number nine who fits into their system may make them an even more formidable force. They were looking at Harry Kane in the summer and have also been linked with the likes of Dusan Vlahovic.
But a new striker on City’s radar, according to Fichajes, is Gouiri.
The 21-year-old joined Nice from Lyon in 2020 and has been flourishing ever since. He scored 16 goals in 41 games during his debut season, making a genuine breakthrough at senior level.
Gouiri, who had previously never scored for Lyon, has begun the current campaign in the same strong form he ended the last one in. So far, he has six goals and four assists from 12 games to his name.
There is already a feeling that Gouiri could be ready for another transfer in the near future. Nice would be able to make a major profit by selling him, even though he remains under contract until 2024.
Fichajes believe Man City would be in the running to sign him. Guardiola is apparently an admirer and thinks there could be a “golden opportunity” to sign him.
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Gouiri is compared to fellow Frenchman Karim Benzema in terms of style. If he progresses to become a player of the same quality as the Real Madrid talisman, he will be an exciting proposition for any club to work with.
Signing him would not come cheap for City. In fact, Fichajes believe Nice would be entitled to command up to €50m.
But if he continues his current form, that valuation could increase further. Therefore, it may be prudent to make a bid before too long.
For now, City will have to keep working with the options they have available to them currently. In the New Year, though, they may be ready to end their wait to sign a striker.
Gouiri linked with Liverpool
Back in September, a couple of reports indicated that Gouiri is also a potential target for Liverpool.
Like title rivals City, Liverpool have plenty of strength in depth but are perhaps lacking a traditional centre-forward.
It is an area they may address soon, given that their current first-choice front three are all going to be 30 years old before the start of next season.
Jurgen Klopp reportedly sees Gouiri as a replacement for Roberto Firmino in particular. But as should be clear by now, it will not be an easy path to his signature.
Real Madrid have also been mentioned as a suitor in the recent past, with a view to having the man described as the new Benzema succeeding the original.
For the time being, Gouiri will be playing his football for Nice – but a bigger platform may await him in the near future.