Man City prepared to axe £41m star, as Chelsea ‘bidding war’ looms as a huge upgrade

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Man City prepared to axe £41m star, as Chelsea ‘bidding war’ looms as a huge upgrade

According to a report, Manchester City are willing to sell a £41 million signing to help fund a massive bid for Matthijs De Ligt, but they may face stiff competition from Chelsea.

City and Chelsea’s current campaigns have been defined by their stalwart defenses. While Liverpool has been destroying teams, thanks in large part to Mohamed Salah’s heroics, their leaky defense has given opponents a chance.

Chelsea, on the other hand, has only conceded four goals in the league so far. City isn’t far behind, with only six shipped.

Nonetheless, both clubs have been linked with Juventus and Netherlands midfielder De Ligt.

In recent weeks, the 22-year-old has been linked with Chelsea. In late October, he was named as a possible Thiago Silva successor.

Furthermore, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the contract statuses of Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Andreas Christensen may create an immediate need for Thomas Tuchel to splash the cash. Each of those three Blues defenders is nearing the end of their contracts.

De Ligt, however, has another English fan, according to SportsMole (via Italian outlet Calciomercato).

Man City are said to be interested and may axe Nathan Ake to help fund the move. ‘Pep Guardiola is understood to be considering the departure of Nathan Ake next summer,’ they write. This would free up funds as well as squad space for De Ligt, whom Guardiola ‘admires.’

De Ligt’s contract reportedly includes a €150 million (£128.4 million) release clause that kicks in next summer.

It’s unclear whether either City or Chelsea would be willing to activate that clause. A bidding war with lower stakes appears to be a more realistic prospect if both parties act on their interests.

If that scenario plays out and City does offload Ake, the club is said to be ‘prepared’ to go to war for the Dutchman’s signature.

‘Trust us’ – Guardiola on Man City’s striker pursuit

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has provided an update on the club’s search for a new striker.

Sergio Aguero left City for Barcelona on a free transfer in the summer. Gabriel Jesus, widely regarded as his long-term replacement, has since been assigned to the front three’s right side.

Guardiola was forced to play without a proper number nine. So far this season, he has played the false number nine role for Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Ferran Torres, and Bernardo Silva.

However, if they are to compete with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, the reigning Premier League champions may require a permanent striker. Indeed, City has been held scoreless in six of its 17 games this season.

On Friday, Guardiola was asked about the possibility of bringing in a center-forward. “I don’t know, I’m not a magician to know what will happen, if I knew, I’d tell you,” he said (via Manchester Evening News). First and foremost, I’d inform Manchester City.

“Just trust a bit – [look] how many goals we scored last year without a striker because Sergio was injured. Maybe in the future we will buy a proper striker, a number nine who will score goals, who knows.

“We are who we are, we move forward in this sense. I spoke many times. We wanted to do it but could not do it, we have enough players.”


Man City prepared to axe £41m star, as Chelsea ‘bidding war’ looms as a huge upgrade

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