From a new central defender possibly heading to the Etihad, to academy starlets getting their chance to shine, here is the 21st edition of the Manchester City daily transfer round-up…
- 1 Arrivals
- 2 Jules Kounde – Rumour Rating: 3/10
- 3 Ben White – Rumour Rating: 3/10
- 4 Pau Torres – Rumor Rating: 6/10
- 5 Gustav Isaksen – Rumor Rating: 4/10
- 6 Brian Kidd – Rumour Rating: 9/10
- 7 Departures
- 8 James Trafford – Rumour Rating: N/A
- 9 Gavin Bazunu – Rumour Rating: N/A
- 10 Adrian Bernabe & Felix Nmecha – Rumour Rating: N/A
- 11 Other
- 12 Multiple Academy Stars ‘To Be Evaluated’
- 13 Lewis Fiorini – Rumour Rating: N/A
One of the more surprising stories that has emerged this summer is the apparent desire from Aymeric Laporte to leave the club.
After a disappointing 2020/21 season, in which the defender lost his spot in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven due to the scintillating form of Ruben Dias and John Stones, Laporte could look for a new home for the start of next season.
In response, Manchester City have begun to identify possible replacements if the Spanish international does force a move away.
According to Duncan Castles, three names have been mentioned as possible signings in the case of Aymeric Laporte’s departure – Jules Kounde, Ben White and Pau Torres.
Jules Kounde – Rumour Rating: 3/10
This is not the first time that Manchester City have expressed their interest in the Frenchman, as the Sevilla man has emerged as a top class central defender in recent seasons.
The Premier League club appeared to prefer Jules Kounde ahead of Ruben Dias last summer in the search for a long term replacement for Vincent Kompany.
My rumour rating of ‘3’ is because in the season since Manchester City’s initial interest, his stock has risen even more and will likely not look to move to a club where he would not be guaranteed regular football.
Ben White – Rumour Rating: 3/10
The England defender is the surprise name on this list.
Having only just wrapped up loan spells at clubs further down the English football pyramid such as Peterborough United and Newport County, Ben White’s stock has rapidly risen after a successful season for Brighton.
However, according to Duncan Castles, only ‘preliminary’ talks have been held between the player’s entourage and Manchester City.
On top of that, many reports have suggested that Arsenal are on the verge of wrapping up a deal for the Brighton man, which has lead to my rumour rating of ‘3’.
Pau Torres – Rumor Rating: 6/10
After playing a key role in the club’s dramatic Europa League winning campaign, Pau Torres has become the subject of interest from a few different clubs. One of those clubs, of course, is Manchester City.
In many ways, Pau Torres is a ‘young Laporte’ as he is left footed and a quality passer of the ball. Of all of these rumoured replacements for Aymeric Laporte if he leaves, this feels the most likely – hence my rumour rating of ‘6’.
Torres is young and possesses all of the qualities of a Pep Guardiola centre-back. Some outlets have suggested that Villarreal have placed a £50 million release clause on the defender, a fee that would be more than doable for the Premier League champions.
Gustav Isaksen – Rumor Rating: 4/10
The City Football Group have become known for snatching up some of the best talent from around the world, and sending them out on loan to one of their many affiliate clubs. The likes of Pablo Moreno, Yan Couto, and plenty of other promising young stars have ended up in the CFG system.
A new youngster of interest has arisen for Manchester City, and those affiliated with the club – Gustav Isaksen. The Danish winger has recently broken into the FC Midtjylland first team squad at the age of 20, and appears to be a promising talent.
According to Danish outlet B.T. as translated and relayed by Inside Futbol, the Premier League champions have already failed once in trying to sign Isaksen, as the Danish club are keen on keeping a hold of their promising youngster.
With Midtjylland’s apparent desire to continue on developing Isaksen, my rumour rating lands at ‘4’, as any deal for the winger does not seem imminent, and is likely far down on the priority list for the decision makers at the Etihad Stadium.
Brian Kidd – Rumour Rating: 9/10
According to the information of Jack Gaughan at the Mail, Brian Kidd is set to leave his position as an assistant coach at Manchester City this summer – bringing an end to a hugely successful period with the club, and alongside Pep Guardiola more recently.
The 72 year-old is claimed to be open to another role within football, should the right opportunity arise, but his character and presence within Manchester City as an organisation will be sorely missed for sure.
James Trafford – Rumour Rating: N/A
It appears it’s going to be a busy summer for Manchester City’s rising academy stars, as you will see further into this transfer round-up.
For a start, goalkeeper James Trafford has joined League One side Accrington Stanley on a season-long loan from the Premier League club. The Manchester City youngster spoke out in the wake of securing his first senior loan move:
“Me and the goalkeeping staff at City have always felt this was the right time to come out on loan after my second year as a scholar so I am really excited,” Trafford said on the Accrington Stanley website.
Gavin Bazunu – Rumour Rating: N/A
The Republic of Ireland international and promising young Manchester City goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu completed his loan move to Portsmouth for the duration of the 2021/2022 campaign.
This is the latest step in the player’s rise in the professional game, and there are great expectations for a player who has already revealed his desire to become the number one goalkeeper at the Etihad Stadium in the future.
Speaking during a recent interview, Bazunu said, “I wouldn’t have gone to Manchester City unless I thought I could be the number one goalkeeper. Every day, that’s what I work towards. That’s the goal.”
Adrian Bernabe & Felix Nmecha – Rumour Rating: N/A
Both Adrian Bernabe and Felix Nmecha have left Manchester City upon the expiry of their respective contracts this week, meaning that both players are now free to seek new ventures within the game.
According to one report, both Bernabe and Nmecha had been offered new deals by Manchester City, and both decided against renewing their contracts – which may be down to a number of factors, but most likely the pathway into first-team football at the Etihad Stadium.
There is an expectation in some quarters that Bernabe could re-join Barcelona, and continue development in their infamous youth academy before seeking a loan move within Spain, however nothing on this note has been confirmed.
Multiple Academy Stars ‘To Be Evaluated’
Manchester City appear to be in the midst of a great era for the production of academy stars rising through the ranks at the club. This summer that production could begin to pay off, as some of Phil Foden’s former academy teammates could begin to join him in the first team.
According to the Athletic’s Sam Lee, Pep Guardiola will take a close look at many of the club’s young stars in pre-season friendlies against Preston North End, Troyes and Barcelona this summer.
Luke Mbete, Romeo Lavia, James McAtee and Liam Delap appear set to join the first team for the friendlies, and can be expected to see a lot of the field as Pep Guardiola’s regular first team stars recover from the Euros.
To add to that list, former Academy star Cole Palmer will be joining the first team on a permanent basis, as has already been reported this summer.
Lewis Fiorini – Rumour Rating: N/A
According to MCFC Reserves and Academy, Lewis Fiorini has signed a new five-year deal at Manchester City, keeping him at the Premier League club until 2026.
The midfielder had a successful loan spell at NAC Breda, and at 19-years-old looks to be yet another promising talent for the future. His long term deal could signal intent from the club that he is apart of their long term plans, along with Cole Palmer, and his fellow academy teammates.
You can follow us for live transfer updates here: @City_Xtra