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Kyle Walker signs new Man City deal but could face new competition for his place


Kyle Walker has signed a two-year contract extension with Manchester City .

The 29-year-old England right-back already has three years left on his current deal but has been tied down by the Blues after a fine end to the season which saw him undisputed first choice for the domestic treble winners.

The deal will take Walker to 2021 – but he could face a fresh challenge next season, if Danilo fixes up a move away from the Etihad Stadium .

Walker bounced back strongly from a blip in form in December, when his horror show against Crystal Palace brought the Blues’ only home defeat of the season.

Walker said: “I’m thrilled to have signed a new deal. Playing for City has been everything I’d hoped it would be and more.

“It was an easy decision. I want to be competing for trophies, playing at the highest level, and I feel I have improved hugely as a player during my time here.

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“The club’s vision – both on and off the pitch – matches mine perfectly and I’m looking forward to spending the new five years here, hopefully winning more silverware.”

Football director Txiki Begiristain said: “His strength, speed and ability have been vital to our accomplishments. He is a key member of the squad.

“His experience is invaluable, particularly to the younger members of the team, and his contribution will be crucial in our efforts for continued success.”

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Walker’s strong finish to the season restricted Danilo’s appearances to the point where he made just two league starts in the last four months of the season.

The Brazil defender is believed to be unhappy at a lack of games for City after making just nine league starts last season.

His agent is believed to be seeking an exit route, but City want £20million-plus for a player they brought in for £26million two years ago.

Inter Milan showed interest but are not prepared to pay the fee, while Juventus appear to be more interested in other targets, including Spurs’ former City player Kieran Trippier.

But if Danilo can find a new club, City will be in the market for another right-back, and current Juve ace Joao Cancelo would be top of their list.

Portugal international Cancelo is in a similar mould to Walker, a powerhouse going forward but one who has his defensive frailties.

But Pep Guardiola has shown he is willing to overlook defensive minuses if he feels the attacking pluses outweigh them.

The fact that Walker – whose pace tends to get him out of most tricky situations – is trusted in the position proves that.

Walker’s own defensive doubts were exposed in England’s recent European Nations League semi-final defeat by Holland.

But Guardiola likes his powerful surges down the right flank, and as a manager who gambles on having more possession, and creating more chances, than most opposition, it is a percentage game he is prepared to play.

 



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