Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Guardiola ready to ramp up Man City interest in Rodri successor who already has perfect mentor

Xabi Alonso giving instructions to Noah Mbamba

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso and midfielder Noah Mbamba

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is keen to revisit interest in Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Noah Mbamba, a report has claimed.

Mbamba made two substitute appearances for Club Brugge against Manchester City in the Champions League over the autumn of 2021, and it is from that point that Guardiola’s interest has developed, according to Football Transfers.

In January, it was Bayer Leverkusen who won the race to provide Mbamba with his next step after his time in Belgium. However, he remains on the radar of Guardiola as a potential Man City target, the report claims.

Mbamba has only been used sparingly by his current club so far, making just three appearances since his move. In his only Bundesliga appearance this term, though – a 10-minute cameo against Darmstadt – he provided an assist.

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Still only 18 years old, Mbamba is under contract with Bayer Leverkusen until 2028. However, Man City might be willing to test their resolve thanks to Guardiola’s approval.

The report explains how Mbamba primarily operates as a defensive midfielder, which would make him a candidate to become the long-term successor to Rodri. Kalvin Phillips has failed to earn his place in that hierarchy and now seems destined to leave Man City in 2024, while Maximo Perrone is currently out on loan with Las Palmas.

At Bayer Leverkusen, Mbamba has a good mentor to learn from in the shape of head coach Xabi Alonso, who used to play as a midfielder under Guardiola for Bayern Munich. It could help his preparation for a potential future move to Man City.

Bayer Leverkusen seek significant windfall for Mbamba

Football Transfers does not mention how much Mbamba might cost – just that Bayer Leverkusen would want a ‘premium’ fee due to his contract status.

For a player who only has 18 top-flight appearances to his name so far, though – most of which came with Club Brugge – Man City would be investing in potential and not necessarily someone who could instantly upgrade the options Guardiola has at his disposal.

The treble winners bolstered their midfield with some more senior options when buying Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and Matheus Nunes from Wolves over the summer, during which they lost Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona at the end of his contract.

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