The Lowdown: City’s transfer track record
The Manchester club have a track record when it comes to signing English players since Pep Guardiola took charge of the team back in 2016.
Figures such as Kyle Walker, John Stones, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips have made their way to the Etihad Stadium over recent years.
Looking ahead to the next summer transfer window, it appears that Whelan thinks the Citizens will look to continue this track record and has even named two potential candidates to join Guardiola’s side.
The Latest: Rice or Bellingham
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan had this to say about the possibility of seeing City launch a summer transfer move for Rice or Bellingham depending on whether Ilkay Gundogan were to leave the club at the end of the season.
He said: “The two players that spring to mind are Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice. The question is, can you get them in January? For me, I think no.
“At the end of the season, I can see it happening. If Gundogan is happy to stay until the end of the season and pursue that elusive Champions League trophy, then that’s the perfect time to replace him with that new blood.
“I’m very sure it will be one of those two players. I’d be very surprised if they don’t snap up one of Bellingham and Rice if they let Gundogan leave.
“It makes sense for everyone to wait until the end of the season, allowing Gundogan to get that free transfer and that big contract elsewhere.”
The Verdict: A decision for Guardiola
Looking at both players and what they have done so far this season, Rice and Bellingham have both played every minute of league action, highlighting how important they are for their respective teams.
In fact, to further showcase how similar the two players are, the two midfielders have racked up a close total of shot-creating actions (44 vs 42) as well as an almost identical combined total of tackles and interceptions (55 vs 59).
Who would you rather see City sign?
Taking this into account, it’s safe to say that if City and Guardiola are looking to sign one of these two players that Whelan mentioned, they could have a big and tough decision on their hands as to who it is they try and sign.
Either way, it would be safe to assume that Rice or Bellingham would be very useful additions to Guardiola’s squad and give them an extra bit of strength in the midfield.
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