Manchester City’s hopes of strengthening their defence have suffered a setback with bids for La Liga duo Jose Gimenez and Jules Kounde failing to progress, according to reports.
Coach Pep Guardiola wants defensive reinforcements after City showed vulnerability at the back for much of last season.
He’s already secured Nathan Ake for £41m. And the Dutchman played alongside Fernandinho in City’s opening 3-1 win at Wolves.
But City still want a new central defender before the close of the transfer window on October 5.
AS reported at the start of last week that City had made a bid in excess of €80m for Gimenez. But that fell some way short of Atletico Madrid’s evaluation of the player. The Uruguayan is believed to have a €120m release clause.
Sport Witness report that the Spanish club’s president, Enrique Cerezo, confirmed a bid when speaking on Onda Cero’s El Transistor programme.
He said: “Yes we received the offer [from City], but Gimenez is a magnificent player and we are interested in having magnificent players in our team.”
Given bonuses, that could have meant City forking out up to €100m so the claim seems questionable.
And, in a new twist, City are believed to have told Goal that they didn’t actually make any bid.
Whether an offer will come in later remains to be seen.
City face similar stumbling block over Kounde
As well as Gimenez, City’s shortlist is also thought to contain Sevilla’s Kounde and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibably.
Koulibably is thought to be the prime target but continuous summer talks have failed with the two clubs failing to agree on a free.
That means Kounde has emerged as the favourite to move to the Etihad.
Once again, a top official at a Spanish club is claiming a bid has been made. This time it’s Sevilla sporting director Monchi. He says City tabled a bid for the 21-year-old.
However, Goal say that Kounde has a release clause in his current contract worth €80 to €90m.
City wanted a big name in place soon. But it appears for now that they’re being frustrated with valuations too high.