Pep Guardiola is adamant that Manchester City will not be opening their chequebook in the January transfer window.
The Citizens have made a blistering start to the Premier League season again as well as securing a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Guardiola made just one major signing during the summer, the £60m addition of Riyad Mahrez, and also targeted a new centre midfielder. Despite losing Kevin De Bruyne to injury for the majority of the campaign, the ex-Barcelona boss isn’t expected to add to his squad in January.
Regardless of his intentions in the New Year, the Citizens need to start identifying a long-term replacement for Fernandinho in the engine room. The Brazilian turns 34 in May and is approaching the final years of his career.
One man City should be keeping tabs on is Lille man – Thiago Mendes. Valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt, the Brazilian joined the French side from Sao Paulo last summer and instantly became a key player in Ligue 1. Mendes ended his first season in France with three goals and four assists in 27 league starts, and his impressive form has continued into the new campaign.
The 26-year-old would add further protection to the City backline due to his tough-tackling no-nonsense nature. So far this season, Mendes have averaged an incredible 2.3 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game, only Fabian Delph has averaged more tackles in the Manchester City squad this season. Not only does Mendes excel defensively, but he also loves to dictate the tempo of the game, averaging 1.9 key passes per game, making him ideal for Guardiola’s system (WhoScored).
The Brazilian is approaching the prime of his career and could become a superstar under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
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