Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Big update on Man City pursuit of Barcelona star Pep Guardiola ‘loves’

Frenkie de Jong Barcelona

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has reportedly been told his chances of landing a top Barcelona star next year.

Guardiola had a hugely successful four-year spell managing Barcelona earlier in his career. He guided the Spanish titans to three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Copa del Reys.

The 50-year-old was twice named as the World’s Best Club Coach for his efforts, in 2008 and 2010.

Guardiola has since taken his exceptional tactics and style of play to the Etihad. Man City are the reigning Premier League champions, having also made the final of last season’s Champions League.

Europe’s elite trophy still eludes the Manchester club, despite their lavish spending over the past decade or so.

Recent reports suggested that City could bid for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, as Guardiola aims to fill his team with even more talent in pursuit of the Champions League title.

The manager apparently has a ‘love’ for the star, who could form a solid partnership with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne.

Goal, citing reports in the Spanish press, provide an update on the situation. They write that City unfortunately have little chance of landing the Dutchman.

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He wants to remain in Catalonia to impress new boss Xavi. The 24-year-old also has little desire to move to the Premier League right now, although a switch could occur in the future.

In addition, Barca are unwilling to negotiate a deal for de Jong. They see him as a vital player to take them into the new era.

It looks as though Guardiola will have to search for alternative world-class midfielders. One option is Real Madrid man Toni Kroos.

The 31-year-old’s position is increasingly under threat due to the emergence of Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga’s arrival. Kroos’ contract at the Bernabeu runs until 2023, meaning a transfer could take place next summer.

The star has won two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues during his time in Spain.

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Arsenal urged to pursue City target

Former Arsenal player Michael Thomas recently urged the Gunners to sign de Jong.

When doing so, he pointed out an issue they look set to face in January – Thomas Partey will go off to the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year to represent Ghana.

Thomas said: “In terms of the top priority, a central midfielder is by far the biggest piece of business the club has to do. We are losing Partey to the AFCON and that will be a massive period for the club’s season.

“Renato Sanches is still someone I think Arsenal should have their eye on for January, and it’s come to light about Frenkie de Jong possibly leaving Barcelona so that could be a good bit of business for the club. I would also like to see another right-back and winger join.”

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