Manchester City interested in signing Kaoru Mitoma
Manchester City have ‘taken an interest’ in signing Brighton & Hove Albion winger Kaoru Mitoma, according to transfer insider Graeme Bailey.
The Lowdown: City eyeing winger
Man City have recently been linked with a move for Brennan Johnson, as Pep Guardiola believes that the Nottingham Forest winger could be a good long-term replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who is now 32-years-old.
The Sky Blues have been eyeing an heir for the Algerian for quite some time now, with it being reported earlier this season that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was a potential target, however he is now believed to be close to signing a new contract to remain at the Emirates Stadium.
Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is also on the radar for City, but the Georgian will not come cheap, as it has recently emerged his current club value him at a staggering £140m, amid interest from the likes of Real Madrid.
The Latest: Mitoma targeted
In an interview with TEAMtalk, Bailey has confirmed that the reigning Premier League champions are also interested in Mitoma, after his impressive form with Brighton.
The transfer insider said: “Kaoru Mitoma has been one of the Premier League’s top performers this season,
“He is very much the breakout star in England.
“It is not surprising that clubs from across Europe are looking at him and that is true.
“If he was on the market, Mitoma would have his pick of clubs. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester City… they have all taken an interest in his progress.
That said, Bailey does not believe that the winger’s current club will be willing to part with him so soon, also adding: “However, just one season in and Brighton are not going to be selling, but they will be rewarding him with a huge new deal. Mitoma could very well become the highest paid player at the club and why not? He is fully deserving of it.
The Verdict: Fantastic player
If Brighton are willing to soften their stance and allow the 25-year-old to leave, then he would be a very exciting signing for City, as indicated by his performances over the past year.
The Japan international ranks in the 97th percentile for progressive carries and 89th percentile for successful take-ons per 90 in, displaying his fantastic dribbling ability, while he is also happy to pitch in with the defensive side of the game, placed in the 89th percentile for tackling.
In a real breakthrough season with Brighton, the left winger has weighed in with a very solid eight goals and six assists in 26 matches in all competitions, most notably scoring a vital late winner against Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
At 25, Mitoma is likely to be about to enter his prime, and his performances this season indicate he is a ready-made replacement for Mahrez.