In this instalment of our Transfer Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Manchester City recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.
Interest in Dael Fry
Manchester City are taking a keen interest in Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry to ease their centre-back problems, as reported by TEAMtalk.
According to TEAMtalk, the 22-year-old is also being closely watched by Tottenham, Everton and Wolves, with Middlesbrough’s resolve likely to be tested by an offer of more than £20m.
TEAMtalk claimed that the Premier League champions could move for a centre-back in January due to the injury problems encountered by Aymeric Laporte and John Stones this season.
Manchester City’s defensive options are currently very stretched, with Nicolas Otamendi the only natural centre-back available to Pep Guardiola.
Fry has begun the season in assured fashion for Middlesbrough, winning an average of seven aerial duels and two tackles per game.
However, his ball distribution is a major weakness – he has averaged just 72.8% passing accuracy so far this term, with all of Manchester City’s centre-backs averaging 92.1% or higher.
Also, he has had his own share of injury woes, having been ruled out for four months this year by a hamstring tear, as reported by Teesside Live, so he does not seem like the type of centre-back that Guardiola should be targeting.
Possible January bid for Ruben Dias
According to 90min.com, the 22-year-old is top of a three-man shortlist of transfer targets at the Etihad Stadium, having impressed Manchester City scouts who have travelled to watch him in action for the Portuguese club.
He is assured in possession and can win high balls, with a passing success rate of 88.8% and a match average of 2.3 successful aerial duels so far this season. He is also adept at halting opposition attacks, with 1.2 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in 2019/20. [via WhoScored.com]
Of the Manchester City centre-back trio of Stones, Laporte and Otamendi, only Stones has won more tackles per game (two) than Dias, while only Laporte has averaged more interceptions (two per game), but all three Manchester City players have better aerial and passing statistics than the Benfica man. [via WhoScored.com]
Dias would be an excellent option for breaking up play, although his passing would need to improve if he were to sign for Guardiola at the Etihad.
Scouts impressed by Lukas Klostermann
Manchester City scouts have been impressed by RB Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann, as reported by 90min.com.
According to 90min.com, the Premier League champions could land the 23-year-old for a reasonable price, as he in the final two years of his contract in Leipzig and the club have a younger right-back option in Nordi Mukiele.
Klostermann is strong at stifling opposition attacks on the flanks, with match averages of 1.8 tackles and 0.8 interceptions this season better than Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker’s figures of 0.8 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game.
However, he seems to have a good balance of defensive and attack-minded attributes going by his statistics, and his ability to cover at centre-back would make him a very useful asset for Manchester City if they were to get him.
Manchester City fans, what do you make of these transfer stories? Which of these three would be your preferred defensive option? Comment below with your views!
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