Manchester City’s transfer pursuit of Algerian midfielder Ismael Bennacer has been complicated by two significant obstacles put in place by his club.
Monday’s print edition of Corriere dello Sport claimed [via Sport Witness] that the 22-year-old’s release clause of €50m (£44.8m) must be paid in one lump sum, and not in instalments, to trigger the clause. Also, as it does not come into effect until next year, any prospective suitors would need to first negotiate with the Serie A club, who are understandably keen to retain the player.
Last week, Italian outlet Sport Mediaset claimed that the Premier League champions are ready to make an approach for Bennacer.
Bennacer has established himself as an unforgiving defensive midfield enforcer with AC Milan this season, averaging 2.4 successful tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game. Rodri, who plays in a similar position at the Etihad Stadium, has managed just 1.5 successful tackles and 0.8 interceptions per game. However, the Algerian’s enthusiasm can often get the better of him as he has been booked 12 times in Serie A this term, the most of any player in the division (as per WhoScored).
Manchester City’s prospects of signing the 22-year-old could be greatly influenced by the outcome of this week’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against their two-year ban from UEFA competitions. If that fails, the lack of Champions League football until 2022 could see Bennacer stay put or move elsewhere, with Paris Saint-Germain also interested in him (as per Sport Mediaset).
Also, with football clubs’ finances set to be impacted heavily by the lack of income amid the coronavirus pandemic, the need to stump up all of Bennacer’s £44.6m release clause at once could be difficult to fulfil.
Bennacer’s tremendous statistics from this season suggest that he would be a fine addition to Manchester City’s squad.
Would you like to see Ismael Bennacer at Man City next season?
However, if they don’t have the carrot of Champions League football to offer and if they need to rein in their spending given recent events, the Algerian could be unfortunately out of reach for the Cityzens.
Man City fans, do you think there is a realistic chance of Bennacer coming to the Etihad this summer? Have your say by commenting below!
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