Manchester City’s £200m plunge: Premier League leaders want Erling Haaland AND Jack Grealish to replace Sergio Aguero as Pep Guardiola looks to make major splash this summer
- Man City are gearing up to make a major splash in the summer transfer window
- Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish are top of the wishlist
- The Premier League leaders are looking for a replacement for Sergio Aguero
- Pep Guardiola’s rift with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola will have no impact
Manchester City plan to make a major splash this summer with attempts to land both Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish.
Sportsmail understands the Borussia Dortmund striker and Aston Villa captain are top of City’s transfer wishlist as Pep Guardiola gears up to freshen his squad. The pair would be expected to cost close to £200 million — a strong display of intent by a club on the verge of sealing a third Premier League title in four seasons.
City were preparing to sign a new striker before Monday’s announcement that record goalscorer Sergio Aguero will depart when his contract expires in June after 10 years’ service.
Manchester City are in for both Erling Haaland (right) and Jack Grealish (left) this summer
Pep Guardiola is looking to make a major splash in the market with the champions elect
Haaland, 20, has long been Guardiola’s primary target as the team’s next main striker and boasts an enviable scoring return this season, with 39 goals in 38 games for club and country.
The Norway international, whose father Alfie spent three years as a player at City, is set to line up against his suitors in a Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Guardiola’s fractious relationship with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola is not thought to have a bearing on City’s pursuit. Raiola suggested on Tuesday that he has ‘closed the book’ on their public disagreements.
The City boss is after a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero, who is leaving this summer
Haaland is Guardiola’s number one target, with a host of elite clubs keen on the Norwegian
Interest in Grealish, 25, has accelerated over the past few weeks and there is hope a deal can be struck with Aston Villa despite his club’s wealthy owners meaning they have no imperative to sell their skipper.
City’s pursuit of him and Haaland suggests they are looking for a younger age profile of player.
Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne will all be 30 before next season begins. It is hoped a new contract can be finalised with De Bruyne in the coming months.
Haaland is the preferred option in the central attacking area but City will have alternatives in case they are gazumped by Chelsea or Real Madrid.
Guardiola’s fractious relationship with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola will not be problematic
Harry Kane, who recently admitted he will decide his Tottenham future after Euro 2020 this summer, is an obvious choice and a player revered by Guardiola.
In an interview on Tuesday on talkSPORT, the City boss continued his praise of Aguero, saying he is ‘irreplaceable’.
Guardiola added: ‘He’s a legend, the best striker this club has ever had… but he’s irreplaceable in the mind for our fans, to our people and to the players that played alongside him or the managers who worked with him.
‘He is a fantastic person, a fantastic human being and I am pretty sure that if his mind is still aggressive like he is he can extend his career longer than maybe two or three or four or five years.’
Interest in Grealish has quickened in recent weeks although Villa have no financial need to sell
RUNNERS AND RIDERS TO REPLACE SERGIO AGUERO AT CITY
Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)
The Serie A leaders, who are mulling over the prospect of signing Sergio Aguero on a free transfer, are loathe to lose either Martinez or Lukaku. The pair have 33 league goals between them this season as Inter aim to clinch a first title since 2010.
Lukaku, 27, appears to be happy in Milan after leaving Manchester United. Argentina international Martinez would cost a big fee.
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
City did look at Felix, 21, when he was a teenager at Benfica before backing away from formalising any interest as he switched to La Liga. The £113 million fee that Atletico paid was seen as significantly more than City could countenance and it remains to be seen what price he would command now.
Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt)
At 25, Silva is older than some others in the mix. The Portugal international had spent time on loan at Frankfurt from AC Milan before the German club made the move permanent last September. Has 21 league goals this season. He has also been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
City had a look at the logistics behind a move for Kane last year, before the pandemic, and could be minded to try their luck should a pursuit of Haaland ultimately not succeed.
Kane is 28 in July — and Daniel Levy is likely to demand exorbitant money — but he guarantees goals and will do so for seasons to come.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
The most sought-after player in Europe at the moment. Haaland could have joined Manchester United when leaving Red Bull Salzburg in 2019 but opted for Borussia Dortmund.
The 20-year-old has scored 34 goals in 31 league starts since and become the youngest player to reach 20 Champions League goals. Many view City as the logical step for a player who places the importance of winning trophies over the individual benefit of a move.
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