Guardiola prioritises sensational £80m signing to scupper Arsenal in deal that’ll transform Man City attack
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is preparing to make a huge swoop for an £80m star also on Arsenal’s transfer radar and rated one of the best in the world in his position.
The two clubs are going head to head in the title race this season with wise old sage Guardiola currently trailing his former No 2 Mikel Arteta at the top of the table. Indeed, the Gunners hold a tasty five-point advantage over City with just 12 games remaining this season.
However, having won four of the last five Premier League titles, the Cityzens are pastg masters are getting first past the winners post. As such, Arsenal know they can ill afford any slip-ups.
Regardless of the destiny of the title, both sides can probably expect to qualify for the Champions League next season. As such, plans for the summer window will soon begin to get underway.
And Arteta very much wants to strengthen his attack with owner Stan Kroenke reportedly clearing the way for a major summer outlay.
To that end, they are reportedly on the trail of a number of potential options. To that end Lautaro Martinez, Nico Williams and even Victor Osimhen recently are reportedly on their radar.
However, any deal for the Nigerian is likely to cost well in excess of £100m.
A more modest target, though, could also come from Italian football in the form of Rafael Leao.
The Portugal star is regarded as one of Serie A’s top stars. Indeed, he arguably ranks as one of the world’s most in-demand stars. Eleven goals and eight assists from 31 appearances this season underlines his qualities.
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Guardiola determined to sign Rafael Leao for Man City
However, reports in Italy now claim Guardiola is instructing City chiefs to prioritise a summer move for Leao.
Per Calciomercato, the City boss sees the star as a dream addition to his side and is a huge admirer of his qualities. Seeing him as the perfect foil for Erling Haaland, he believes landing Leao can help transform City’s attack.
And with the forward’s deal due to expire in summer 2024, Guardiola reckons City can land Leao for a bargain fee.
To that end, Milan are desperate to pin their star man down to an extension as quickly as possible. His current £30,000 a week arrangement is worth significantly less than what a player of his standing is worth.
Milan sporting director Frederic Massara and technical director Paolo Maldini are offering Leao a deal worth £120,000 a week.
However, he has so far rejected their advances. As such, the possibility of a move to the Premier League remains a strong possibility.
City may have another advantage over Arsenal
Indeed, few know at this stage what Leao’s intentions will be. But if it becomes apparent a move away from Milan is on, Leao will not be short of suitors.
As well as City and Arsenal, the likes of Real Madrid have also been touted as prospective suitors.
One thing we can assume, though, is that Milan will not allow the player to enter the final year of his contract. Having been stung before losing their stars as free agents, they will not want to suffer the same fate again.
However, it seems City may hold a surprise advantage over Arsenal should a move to the Premier League emerge as a likely option.
That’s after the player previously voiced his disliking of life in London.
“I don’t like the weather there. I went shopping the first time I went to London,” he told A Bola.
Manchester, though, isn’t exactly known for its tropical weather either, that said.
However, the chance to play for Guardiola and alongside Haaland could carry considerable weight. As could the the opportunity to seriously inflate his salary.
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