Transfer Talk: Five players who could replace City stalwart Fernandinho
Manchester City have become used to saying goodbye to star players in recent years — and Fernandinho could be the next to depart.
Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero have all exited in the last three years and, though Etihad chiefs are keen to retain him, Fernandinho is out of contract in June.
The Citizens are said to be considering potential replacements for the 36-year-old midfield enforcer, whose departure would leave Pep Guardiola’s team light on defensive options in the middle of the park.
Ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Burnley, we pick out five possible targets to compete with Rodri, the man currently keeping Fernandinho out of the side.
Monaco sensation Aurelien Tchouameni seems to have been linked with every elite club in Europe, including Real Madrid and Chelsea.
And with good reason as he has emerged as one of the most exciting young midfielders around.
Well on his way to mastering the art of break-up play, the 22-year-old averages 2.88 interceptions per 90 this season — the most in Ligue 1. The same goes for winning possession in the middle third (5.36 times per 90).
Tchouameni has earned eight France caps so far and scored the winner in last week’s 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast, popping up with a thumping stoppage-time header that underlined his aerial strength.
Another rising star who City would face stiff competition for is Bologna’s Mattias Svanberg.
The Swede, 23, has won plaudits for his immense engine and is showing signs of developing into a strong all-round operator.
Versatility is something that Guardiola values in his players and Svanberg has been deployed in several midfield roles this season.
Capped 18 times by his country, Svanberg would also reportedly cost less than £20million — not that City are exactly strapped for cash.
Whether it is Manchester City or another club, Boubacar Kamara will be on the move this summer.
The 22-year-old is out of contract with Marseille and has already been linked with Tottenham, Newcastle and West Ham.
A versatile operator who can play at the base of midfield or centre-back — a useful trait in a Guardiola team — Kamara made his Marseille debut less than three weeks after his 17th birthday.
Impressively, the France Under-21s international has succeeded with 40.3% of his pressures in the league this term compared to Rodri’s 37%.
He also outranks the Spaniard for combined tackles and interceptions per 90 — 4.68 compared to Rodri’s 3.68.
Rumours of Declan Rice moving to Manchester have been rife for some time now — but it is United who have generally been touted as the destination for West Ham’s prized asset.
And Rice, 23, would enjoy more regular minutes with the Red Devils, given their more pressing need in that department.
But Champions League football — or lack thereof — could be a deal breaker and United are up against it to finish in the top four this term.
It has been claimed that the Hammers value Rice at £150m but City would be getting a player well on course to becoming one of the best — and most complete midfielders — in the game.
Jorginho is integral to Chelsea but the Italy international’s agent has cast doubt over his future by revealing that he dreams of playing in Serie A again.
Clearly, a move to City would not help him realise those ambitions. But the five-time Premier League champions are worth throwing into the mix in the event that Jorginho does look to leave Stamford Bridge.
That is because the Italy international has another dream — to play under Guardiola.
Speaking in February, Jorginho said: "I have [dreams of playing for Guardiola]. I don’t know if it will happen, but yeah, he’s a reference.
"When I was a kid, I watched his Barcelona win everything with Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta."
A come and get me plea? Probably not, but it is not hard to envisage Jorginho fitting in perfectly at City.