Man City might leave themselves exposed with transfer strategy – Charlotte Duncker
Manchester City‘s transfer strategy has been clear for a number of years now, the club are not prepared to pay over the odds for their targets.
It has led to Pep Guardiola missing out on a number of signings including Alexis Sanchez and Fred and it could be the reason the club don’t end up bringing Leicester defender Harry Maguire to the Etihad this summer.
The Foxes are hoping for around £90million for the England international, which would mean City breaking the club’s transfer record for the second time this summer, and Guardiola has already suggested that will not happen.
“We shall see if the market is possible and the club believes we can spend that money, but if they don’t, we shan’t spend it,” Guardiola told reporters in Shanghai when asked if City would be signing a centre-back before the window closes on August 8.
The problem City have got is that the market is over inflated. Leicester know they can demand over the odds for Maguire and the likelihood is somebody at some point will bow down to their demands.
The City manager seemed relaxed about the situation during City’s pre-season tour of Asia suggesting his current three centre-backs in Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were enough. And, if needed, Fernandinho could play there.
But, as City push to win the title for the third year on the spin is there really enough strength in depth there to push them over the line in four competitions?
Stones’ performances last season weren’t as consistent as they could have been and Otamendi’s long-term future at the club is up in the air with the suggestion the Argentine is looking to leave the club.
Fernandinho is a versatile player but is he the answer to filling the void left by Kompany at the back? It doesn’t strike as three options which can provide long term solutions for City at the back.
With the possibility of a transfer ban looming over the club Guardiola needs to be confident his defence is good enough now to get him through the next couple of seasons, should the worst case scenario happen.
17-year-old Taylor Harwood-Bellis has already impressed in his two stints on the tour but it would be too much to ask for the teenager to step up into the first team next season and Guardiola has already suggested he will not be turning to the youth team players next season.
The club might have to pay over the odds to land who they want at the back this summer, but if they don’t they could leave themselves exposed at the back for potentially a couple of seasons.
Guardiola and the board need to work out quickly which is the bigger risk to take.