Guardiola eyes double swoop for two midfielders as Man City plan for future domination

Enzo Fernandez of River Plate competes for the ball with Maximo Perrone of Velez Credit: Alamy
Enzo Fernandez of River Plate competes for the ball with Maximo Perrone of Velez Credit: Alamy

Manchester City are reportedly eyeing winter swoops for two highly rated prospects: 20-year-old Argentinian midfielder Maximo Perrone and 18-year-old Genk prospect Bilal El Khannouss. 

Pep Guardiola seems keen to buy players who will be long-term investments for the Citizens and these two deals very much meet that criteria.

With both being touted as some of the most exciting young players available at the moment, it would be a smart move for City to get their deals over the line as soon as possible.

Firstly, Perrone is a player that has been linked with a move to Manchester City over the last few weeks, but now it looks like the deal is close to being confirmed.

The defensive midfielder has been targeted by several big European clubs after shining in the Argentinian top flight for Velez Sarsfield. City are understood to have met his $8m (£6.6m) release clause, as previously stated by Fabrizio Romano.

Despite only just turning 20, Perrone has quickly become a regular for Sarsfield, making 33 appearances at senior level for them overall.

Romano has previously reported that City have a first-team role in mind for him, and will not be loaning him out to one of their sister clubs.

A strong, traditional number six with excellent passing range, Perrone could provide some competition for the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Rodri.

However, given his young age and lack of Premier League experience, he’s still unlikely to go straight into Guardiola’s starting XI.

One former Liverpool and Barcelona player, Javier Mascherano, reportedly gave the Spanish manager a dazzling reference regarding Perrone and as an expert on Argentinian football and being a top former Premier League player, that is high praise indeed.

City target Genk wonderkid with Perrone deal all-but confirmed

According to reports coming out of Belgium, City are close to signing another midfield wonderkid, Bilal El Khannouss. The teenager is considered to be Genk’s ‘golden boy.’

The youngster has allegedly been watched by scouts of several top European clubs recently, with City and Napoli currently the frontrunners for his signature.

However, El Khannouss will command a sizeable transfer fee, as he only recently signed a contract extension with the Belgian club, keeping him there for another year and a half.

As per the report, Genk are therefore demanding offers in excess of €32m (approx. £28.3m), which would be a record sale for them if City are willing to meet their asking price.

El Khannouss is a very different style of player to Perrone, despite also playing in the middle of the park. He generally plays in a number 10 role and despite his young age, has become a regular feature for the Belgian giants.

This season, he has played 18 league matches for Genk, making two assists in the process.

While he is not yet the finished article, he could end up being a top quality player, so it would be a smart move from Guardiola and co. if they can get a deal over the line this winter.

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