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Manchester City Interested In €70 Million Defender With Competition From Manchester United

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Manchester City Interested In €70 Million Defender With Competition From Manchester United

Despite securing the services of striking duo Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland so far this summer, it is safe to say that Manchester City’s transfer business is far from complete.

Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Oleksandr Zinchenko could be set for an exit this summer, with Brighton’s Marc Cucurella earmarked as his replacement at left-back — a decision that was taken back in May.

Additionally, club captain Fernandinho’s departure from the Etihad Stadium has meant Manchester City have set their sights on Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips as a potential replacement.

While the aforementioned arrivals could bolster the side at left-back and defensive midfield, one position where Manchester City have not been linked with a single transfer target is at centre-back.

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Conceding the joint-least goals (26) in the Premier League last season, the numbers paint an accurate picture about the Sky Blues’ rock-solid defence.

With Ruben Dias widely named amongst the elite defenders in the world, John Stones hailed by many as England’s standout centre-back, Aymeric Laporte’s long-standing run as one of Europe’s very best, and Nathan Ake’s emergence as a reliable understudy, Manchester City are in no need for any reinforcements in the position.

Ruben Dias (PA)
Ruben Dias (PA)

However, a surprising revelation has surfaced that links Pep Guardiola’s side to a defensive acquisition ahead of next season.

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As per a report by Italian outlet Calciomercato, translated and relayed by Sport Witness, Manchester City are ‘interested’ in signing Juventus central defender, Matthijs de Ligt.

Local rivals Manchester United are also claimed to be eyeing the Dutchman’s signature - which is a more believable scenario given the Reds' defensive qualities, and the Old Trafford club are claimed to have made ‘first contact’ with the player’s entourage.

However, the report emphasises that neither club is yet to make a ‘formal offer’ to sign the Juventus defender ahead of next term.

Additionally, while De Ligt’s €120 million release clause remains valid during the summer, it is claimed that the Serie A heavyweights will demand a fee ‘in excess’ of €70 million to sanction his sale.

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However, Maximiliano Allegri’s side are still be ‘trying’ to tie down the former Ajax captain to a fresh deal, as his current contract is set to expire in 2024.

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt could be on his way to Chelsea. (Alamy)
Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt could be on his way to Chelsea. (Alamy)

Ultimately, logic dictates that the 22-year old’s inherent quality is likely not to influence the Sky Blues’ decision not to make a move for him anytime soon.

Pep Guardiola’s side have no cause for concern at centre-back, which leads on to the question of why the club would be willing to shell out a whopping €70 million fee to sign Matthijs de Ligt.

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With that being said however, two of Manchester City's central defenders have been tied to reported interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea in recent days.

Both Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are claimed to be commanding an interest from Stamford Bridge, with the latter the more likely to entertain a move given his current position in the City defensive pecking order.

Nathan Ake away at Burnley for Manchester City. (Alamy)
Nathan Ake away at Burnley for Manchester City. (Alamy)

However, with Manchester City’s focus set to remain on bolstering priority positions, it is more likely that Manchester United could reunite manager Erik ten Hag with his former colleague.

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Featured Image Credit: Orange Pics BV / Alamy

Topics: Matthijs De Ligt, Juventus, Serie A, Manchester City, Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours, Manchester United, Manchester United Transfer News & Rumours, Premier League, Football, Transfers

Srinivas Sadhanand
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