Guardiola laughing after Man City wreck Chelsea transfer, with attacker’s future now sealed

Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have laid waste to any hopes Chelsea had of signing a lethal Premier League attacker, though Pep Guardiola will now be faced with a major selection headache, according to reports.

Chelsea are seeking additions in multiple different positions this summer. The Blues hope to provide new manager Enzo Maresca with an upgrade on Conor Gallagher who has been put up for sale. Gallagher does not wish to leave, though Chelsea aim to cash in while they still can before Gallagher’s contract expires 12 months from now.

Elsewhere, additions on the wing and up front are on the agenda. Chelsea are one of three clubs – Newcastle and Bayern Munich being the others – to make official contact with Crystal Palace regarding the transfer of Michael Olise.

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed on Friday that Olise has verbally agreed personal terms with Chelsea.

There’s plenty of hurdles to overcome before Olise can be unveiled at Stamford Bridge, however, such as ironing out a club-to-club agreement on the transfer fee.

Reports have claimed only Champions League clubs can activate Olise’s rumoured £60m release clause. To combat that, TEAMtalk has been told the Blues are prepared to offer a structured deal that totals more than £60m.

Elsewhere, a new striker is wanted to either take the place of Nicolas Jackson or at the very least provide stiff competition.

That’s where Man City enter the frame, with unsettled frontman Julian Alvarez a confirmed Chelsea target.

Chelsea hovering over unhappy Alvarez

The 24-year-old cost just £14m when signed from Argentine side River Plate in the winter window of 2022. The versatile forward quickly made a mockery of that figure upon arriving at the Etihad six months later.

Alvarez scored 17 goals across all competitions in his first season at Man City. The frontman lifted the treble and also added the World Cup to his overflowing trophy cabinet.

Alvarez backed up his impressive first season in England when scoring 19 goals in the 2023/24 campaign. However, despite his free-scoring nature, Alvarez is by no means a regular starter.

Erling Haaland understandably gets the nod at No 9 when fit. Alvarez can play behind the striker, though that’s where Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are at their best.

As such, Alvarez had to settle for more substitute appearances than he would have liked at this stage in his career. The end result is Alvarez is unhappy with his levels of playing time in Manchester.

Trusted Argentine reporter, Gaston Edul, subsequently reported Chelsea have sensed an opportunity and are fully prepared to launch a sizeable bid. PSG and Atletico Madrid are also admirers of the striker.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano declared Man City would under no circumstances sanction a loan exit. However, all bets were off if a club were willing to pay City’s rumoured price tag of €80m/£68m on Alvarez.

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Guardiola shatters Chelsea dream; selection dilemma awaits

But according to a fresh update from Football Insider, Man City and Pep Guardiola have slammed the door shut on a summer exit in any guise.

They stated City ‘will not entertain any offers’ for Alvarez, thus putting the transfer saga to bed for this window at least.

While news of Alvarez staying at the Etihad is unquestionably positive for Man City, it will raise an issue for Guardiola.

As previously mentioned, Alvarez is unhappy with not being a regular starter, though given the stiff competition for places, it’s hard to pick out a player who should make way.

Alvarez is at his best in central areas, be it at No 9 or behind the striker. Haaland will always be first choice up front, while De Bruyne is a City legend and Foden won the Premier League Player of the Year award playing as one of the two No 10s behind Haaland.

Guardiola’s regular formation last term was a 3-2-4-1 in possession and unless the City boss has cooked up a new tactic, Alvarez may have to get accustomed to plenty of substitute appearances once again.

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