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Manchester City: Signing Harry Maguire would require two defenders to be sold

Manchester City: Signing Harry Maguire would require two defenders to be sold

Manchester City would likely need to sell two defenders if they are to harbour any realistic hopes of signing Harry Maguire.

The Daily Star reported that the Premier League champions could not get the £80m-rated Leicester man in unless they first sell two players to avoid contravening Financial Fair Play rules.

According to the Daily Star, Manchester City are looking to dispense with centre-backs Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi in order to raise funds for the possible signing of Maguire.

The Daily Star added that the club have already had a bid of £70m for the England defender rejected by Leicester, whose manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted that the Foxes do not need to sell him.

It should come as no surprise that Manchester City are keen to offload Mangala, who did not make a single appearance for the first-team last season.

He was signed from FC Porto for £42m five years ago as the most expensive defender in British history but, after Pep Guardiola became Manchester City manager in 2016, has played just 15 times for the club and been loaned out twice.

The France international has been the recipient of some stinging criticism in that time, with Chris Sutton’s withering “you cannot give someone a brain” assessment [via The Telegraph] especially hard-hitting.

Guardiola preferred to turn to young centre-backs Philippe Sandler and Eric Garcia last season than call in Mangala from the cold, a sure sign that the latter has no future at the Etihad Stadium.

In the 2017/18 season, the France defender had a passing success rate of 91.6%, which was notably higher than Maguire’s 85.6% last term. However, the Leicester man averaged more tackles (one) and interceptions (1.2) per game than Mangala in his most recent campaign (0.6 tackles, 0.2 interceptions), while also winning more aerial duels per game (3.8) than Mangala (1.3).

Otamendi went from playing 46 matches in 2017/18 to 33 last season, fewer than John Stones (39) and Aymeric Laporte (51).

He won 2.2 aerial duels per game last season, not as many as Maguire, but he outperformed the Leicester defender in terms of tackles and interceptions per game, with 1.4 and 1.6 respectively. He also had a far better passing accuracy rate than Maguire, completing 92.7% of his attempted passes.

Mangala’s complete absence from the side last season, coupled with the emergence of young centre-backs Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, surely leaves him with almost no chance of first-team action at the Etihad Stadium in 2019/20. With no return on a weekly wage of £100,000, as reported by the Daily Star, Manchester City could do with getting him off their books.

However, Guardiola should not let Otamendi out the door so readily, as the Argentina defender performed better than Maguire in several defensive metrics last season. With the Daily Star reporting that he could be sold for a third of the initial £28.5m that Manchester City paid for him in 2015, taking such a large financial hit just to replace him with Maguire doesn’t seem to add up.

Manchester City fans, would you get rid of Mangala and Otamendi if that’s what is needed to sign Maguire? Share your views by commenting below!

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