Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City transfer news: First bid for Marc Cucurella alternative fails, but Pep Guardiola given incentive as player’s desire become clear

Sergio Gomez, Anderlecht

Manchester City have been given encouragement they can secure the signing of Sergio Gomez after reportedly seeing their opening offer for the Anderlecht star fail.

City are in the market for a new left-back this summer, having allowed the versatile Oleksandr Zinchecnko move to Arsenal. Their No 1 option was Brighton star Marc Cucurella, who enjoyed an exceptional debut season in the Premier League. However, with City’s opening offer, reportedly totally £40m failing, the club were left with a problem.

Indeed, Brighton’s insistence that they would not sell Cucurella for less than £50m saw City walk away from the deal. And even though the player has reportedly made clear his wish to depart, the valuation Brighton had on the player appeared above what City were willing to pay.

Their hopes have since been delivered a knockout blow too with Chelsea closing on a £52.5m deal. As part of the deal, a progressive young Chelsea defender will move the other way.

Undaunted, City have quickly moved on to other targets and it seems Gomez is now their top target.

The Spaniard has impressed in the Jupiler Pro League, scoring six times and adding 11 assists in 39 appearances last season. That form has seen him mentioned as a potential target for Leeds and Manchester United.

However, it is City who are at the front of the queue with a report earlier this week suggesting a bid was imminent. To that end, HLN reports that City have now made an opening bid for Gomez, which has been rejected by Anderlecht.

And while their opening ‘formal offer’ has not been disclosed, they report that is has been deemed ‘insufficient’.

However, the report states the Belgians value the player at at least £12.6m (€15m).

City given Sergio Gomez belief

Furthermore, there is a growing feeling in the Belgium media that Gomez will end up signing for the Cityzens.

They claim City are ‘serious about his signing’, and it seems ‘more and more’ that he will link up with the Premier League champions. In addition, HLN also claims the player is ‘charmed’ by the prospect of playing for his compatriot Guardiola.

Perhaps surprisingly, they claim Manchester City could sign Gomez and look to move him out on loan for the season. City’s sister club Girona are mentioned as possible suitors in that regard.

Either way, Anderlecht manager Felice Mazzu appears unfazed that Gomez could be lured away.

“I’m not worried about the transfer rumours. Every team is confronted with this in this period,” Mazzu said.

“Sergio is a great player, so of course I hope he stays. But I’m busy with my entire group. What goes on behind the scenes at the moment is less important than my squad, which I try to make as strong as possible.

“Whether the possible millions of Gomez can provide for other transfers? I never talk about budgets and finances. So not now.”

Star would be an astute signing

Whether a signing for this season or the future, there is little doubting that Sergio Gomez would be a solid signing. His stats in the Jupiler Pro League are hugely impressive, moreso given his 21-years of age.

Of course, the Premier League is another standard altogether. Therefore, the decision to loan him out may be a smart one. He could get regular game time at Girona, where he to move there, and test himself in a more competitive league.

Were he to stick around at City, his route into the first team would be that bit harder. Joao Cancelo has made the position his own, proving one of the club’s most consistent performers last season.

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Manchester City have broken a Premier League record this transfer window.

And whenever the Portuguese has been unavailable, Guardiola has switched centre-half Nathan Ake into left-back duties.

City, meanwhile, could have a battle on their hands to retain the services of Bernardo Silva. PSG are the latest side reportedly keen on the playmaker, with City placing a prohibitive price on his head to ward off his suitors.