Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly plotting a £30m swoop for a midfielder also wanted by the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham.
The City chief is said to have had Brighton star Yves Bissouma watched on several occasions this season and is keen on making a move for the impressive 24-year-old. However, City are not the only club keen on a deal, with Arsenal, Everton and West Ham joining Spurs and Liverpool in the chase for the player.
City are looking to sign a central midfielder in the close season amid doubts over Fernandinho’s stay at the club.
The Brazilian international, 36, rolled back the years in the Champions League semi-final win over PSG. However, he is out of contract in June and could leave after failing to agree a new deal.
Guardiola is also a big fan of West Ham star Declan Rice. But he is not prepared to get involved in a bidding war with Chelsea for the £90m-rated England man.
That has seen City look at alternatives, with Bissouma more of a cut-price option.
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The dynamic midfielder joined Brighton for £15m from Lille in 2018 and has been a huge success. Despite their struggles this season, Bissouma has been a stand-out performer with his all-action performances.
The report in the Daily Star adds that the Seagulls are resigned to losing the player this summer. However, they will hold for at least £30m in the hope that a bidding war between a number of clubs begins.
Bielsa praise for City, Chelsea
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has praised Chelsea and Manchester City for reaching the Champions League final – and has provided a long list of the rich qualities the English boasts as well as the quality of its footballers.
For the second time in three seasons, it will be an all-Englsh Champions League final. City booked their place after a 4-1 aggregate win over PSG. And they were joined on Wednesday night by Chelsea after a 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate) win over Real Madrid.
There is also the possibility of an all-English final in the Europa League too with Arsenal hoping to join Manchester United. The Red Devils hold a 6-2 lead over Roma going into Thursday’s second leg.
Bielsa was asked if European dominance reflects the quality on offer in the Premier League. And the Leeds boss admitted the English game had so many extraordinary qualities.
“I have a lot of admiration and respect for what the English league has done structurally,” Bielsa started. “There are aspects that they have considered, the authorities have multiplied their greatness and I can summarise it quickly. It gives me pleasure to name it.
“The refereeing in England can be better or worse, but never compensates. They always try to penalise those who speculate and make the rules favour the game. This helps the stricture in which the game receives the participants. It can’t be better.