EXCLUSIVE: Man City extensively scouting Spain attacker admired by Pep

Mikel Oyarzabal Real Sociedad September 2021

TEAMtalk understands Manchester City are continuing to keep close checks on Spanish star Mikel Oyarzabal, who has started the new season brilliantly for Real Sociedad.

The Spain international has claimed four goals in five games for Sociedad, including a strike against Barcelona last month.

Sociedad has started the LaLiga season well and sit just three points off top spot with captain Oyarzabal having a major influence.

City and Pep Guardiola are long-term admirers of Oyarzabal, and have spoken to Sociedad on a number of occasions.

In fact City were scouting the 24-year-old as long as two years ago.

Guardiola was looking for replacements for Leroy Sane and Oyarzabal was on the wanted list.

Sane eventually left for Bayern Munich in July 2020, but City’s move for Oyarzabal never materialised.

Paris Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund were also believed to have looked closely at the attacker, who can play anywhere across the front line.

Manchester City to move for Kalvin Phillips as early as January

Manchester City to move for Kalvin Phillips as early as January

Pep Guardiola views Kalvin Phillips as the perfect replacement for Fernandinho, as City join Manchester United in pursuit of Declan Rice and are dealt a blow in the race for Erling Haaland.

The 19-cap forward’s profile certainly fits want Guardiola is looking for. A flexible attacker who is comfortable playing centrally.

Previously City had not been too keen to pay Oyarzabal’s full release clause which currently stands just short of £70m.

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Youngsters set for cup chances

Guardiola though is short of attacking options after Sergio Aguero left for Barcelona in the summer.

The City boss has even stated that he will have to rely on a number of youngsters against Wycombe in the Carabao Cup.


“I don’t have any alternative… we are going to play a few young players,” Guardiola said.

“We have John (Stones), Aymeric (Laporte), Oleks (Zinchenko), Rodri and I think Gundogan all of them injured.

“It’s a good opportunity for the academy – that’s why they are there.”

Attacking midfielder Cole Palmer, 19, is expected to feature against the League One side.

Romeo Lavia, 17, and Luke Mbete, 18, also look likely to get some game time.

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