The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their club will sign a new central-midfield player this summer, and recent reports from Spain suggest Pep Guardiola is lining up an ambitious bid for one of the most successful midfielders in world football.
Now that Fernandinho has just turned 33-years-old, the Citizens faithful lining up our bar are beginning to turn their attention towards a handful of potential replacements for their Brazilian anchor. The likes of Fred and Jorginho have been heavily linked with a move to the Etihad since the January transfer window, but recent reports from Don Balon suggest that Guardiola will target a player he has worked with in the past, namely Toni Kroos of Real Madrid (valued at £72 million by Transfermarkt).
It’s easy to understand why Guardiola is expressing an interested in the German international who will be hoping to win his 4th Champions League when he faces Liverpool in just under a fortnight’s time. Kross’ versatility, extensive range of passing, vision and engine make him the complete central midfield player, so his arrival at the Etihad would certainly strike fear into the rest of their Premier League rivals next season.
Although Kroos would undoubtedly be an excellent addition to City’s squad and siginfcantly boost their chances of mouting a strong challenge for the Champions League next season, they must consider the effect his arrival could have on Ilkay Gundogan. Gundogan has established himself as an important part of Guardiola’s first team plans this season since he recovered from a cruciate ligament injury, but the arrival of Kroos could force him to take a back-seat.
Fernandinho has firmly cemented his place in City’s defensive midfield role in recent years and he has shown little sign of easing up of late despite his age, so that’s unlikely to change next season unless Guardiola is feeling particularly ruthless. With that to consider, Kroos is likely to be in direct competition with Gundogan for a more conventional role in the centre of midfield.
New signings are almost always handed special privileges and given plenty of opportunities to impress in the first-team following their arrival and, considering Guardiola has already worked with Kroos during his stint at Bayern Munich, it’s likely that he would be one of the first names on the team sheet if he swapped Madrid for Manchester this summer.
City have a huge task on their hands in attempting to improve on what was almost a perfect season next time round. Adding Kroos to the squad is certainly a wise place to start, but the club must consider the potentially negative impact his presence could have on Gundogan.
Man City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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