Man City will soon be faced with a difficult transfer decision that will have huge ramifications for Aston Villa.
Man City enjoyed another trophy-laden campaign, regaining their Premier League crown and once again lifting the EFL Cup. Despite those successes, their season finished on a sour note after falling to Chelsea in the all-English Champions League final.
Pep Guardiola’s men were outfought and outthought before and during the contest. The key decision to deploy leading goalscorer Ilkay Gundogan at holding midfield was widely criticised, most notably from Rio Ferdinand.
Either Fernandinho or Rodri had played the majority of the season in the position. In fact, the final was just the second time neither player had been deployed in the starting eleven all season.
At 36, Fernandinho’s days appear numbered despite his vital contributions this season. As such, Man City will soon be faced with a tough decision on whether to activate the buy-back clause of Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.
The Brazilian, 23, has shone since leaving the Etihad for Villa Park in 2019. Per the Express and Star, however, City retain the option to bring him back for ‘a fee of around £27.5million.’
Man City boast a squad capable of fielding two top tier players in every position. As such, bringing back Luiz to ultimately replace Fernandinho would be a shrewd move.
Doing so would leave Dean Smith’s Villa in flux, with Luiz reportedly ‘very much part’ of their plans moving forward.
Thankfully from their perspective, the Express and Star reveal it is ‘currently considered unlikely’ Man City will pursue their option.
Barcelona prowling over disgruntled Man City ace
Meanwhile, Barcelona are said to be monitoring Aymeric Laporte’s situation at Manchester City after the defender hinted he was unhappy with his game time.
ust last week the French-born star suggested it had been frustrating watching his team-mates from the sidelines.
“It’s a very different challenge because I never played less than this year,” he told the Independent. “For me it’s very different, that is difficult to accept.
According to Sport, Barca ‘like’ the defender and would jump at the chance of taking him if City agreed. It is not known if Guardiola intends to use him more in 2021-2022 but he still has four years of his contract remaining.