Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City to ‘swoop’ for Serie A star as replacement for Barcelona-linked forward

Rafael Leao AC Milan

Man City have reportedly set their sights on a forward playing in Italy as they prepare to replace Ferran Torres.

The Spanish goalscorer is a target for Xavi at Barcelona. He needs attacking reinforcements after Sergio Aguero’s heart condition diagnosis.

Recent reports claim Barcelona are ‘cautiously optimistic’ over Torres’ capture. This is despite two potential stumbling blocks, centred around Man City’s valuation of the star and La Liga’s wage cap rule.

The Spanish giants have apparently sorted out a five-year contract with the 21-year-old. He is happy to remain at Man City but is also keen to represent one of Spain’s biggest clubs, should the deal go ahead.

Pep Guardiola’s side are also yet to replace Aguero, who left on a free transfer in the summer. Gabriel Jesus was seen as his successor at centre-forward, but the Brazilian now wants to play out wide.

A number of players are on City’s radar to solve their striker problem, including Erling Haaland and Dusan Vlahovic. However, they may have found a cheaper alternative in Serie A.

Sport Witness, citing Sky Italia, report that club scouts have been monitoring Milan’s Rafael Leao ‘for some time’.

Barcelona have cautious optimism over striking a deal for Manchester City's Ferran Torres

Barcelona have cautious optimism over striking a deal for Manchester City's Ferran Torres

Barcelona are reportedly cautiously optimistic over a potential move for Manchester City forward Ferran Torres.

The 22-year-old, who can operate down the centre or on the left wing, is on five goals and three assists so far this campaign.

He has ‘finally exploded into life’ after a slow start at the San Siro. That means Europe’s biggest clubs, including City, are sitting up and taking notice.

Leao’s agent is discussing a new contract for his client with Milan. If they fail, then the defending Premier League champions are ready to ‘swoop in’ with a bid.

City are willing to offer the Portuguese a significant rise on his £33,000-a-week wage.

Man City star becomes ‘primary transfer target’

Meanwhile, 90Min report that Man City defender Nathan Ake is a ‘primary target’ for one of the club’s English rivals.

The left-footed centre-half is struggling to make an impact under Guardiola. He is behind Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in the pecking order.

However, West Ham could now offer Ake regular game time. They are looking for defensive additions after losing Kurt Zouma to injury.

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The Hammers will not be able to match Ake’s £40m price tag, which is what City paid for him last year. However, a six-month loan may be suitable for West Ham and the player.

A deal will hinge on Guardiola and how he sees his squad depth. The 26-year-old could be thrust into action if one of his team-mates picks up an injury.

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