Manchester City might have the best squad depth of any team on the planet. The one problem area for Pep Guardiola is defensive midfield, now he’s ready to spend big to find Fernandinho’s replacement.
There aren’t many teams in any league who could lose their best players and still be in a position to replace them without much disruption, that’s not really the case with Manchester City who could find a pretty decent replacement in most positions.
Kevin de Bruyne would saunter into any team on the planet and yet Pep Guardiola’s side have had to deal with him being out for a couple of months for the last two seasons and have coped pretty well.
Even Sergio Aguero’s absence has been covered previously by Gabriel Jesus and the team scoring goal from midfield.
However when City had their dip earlier in the season, losing to Crystal Palace and Leicester in quick succession, the man missing was Fernandinho with Guardiola having no like for like replacement for the Brazilian defensive midfielder.
It has been a position that the manager has wanted to strengthen previously and missed out on both Fred and Jorginho in the summer.
Now City are lining up a huge money move. According to the Mirror, Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez is their number one target.
Niguez is one of the best midfielders in the world. Image: PA Images
The midfielder is just 24 and only two years into a ridiculous nine year contract. That contract has a transfer release clause of £130 million.
City may be able to get Saul for cheaper but the Spanish international is still likely to cost a lot more than the club’s current transfer record, the £60 million they spent on Riyad Mahrez in the summer.
At 33 Fernandinho shows no signs of slowing down really but Guardiola knows he needs more options in the position.
Pep was a big fan of Jorginho when he was at Napoli. Image: PA Images
The Premier League champions looked certain to sign Fred last January but when the move didn’t happen the Brazilian ended up going to Manchester United instead.
Jorginho was then Guardiola’s number one target but Maurizio Sarri’s move to Chelsea swayed the Italy midfielder’s decision and he went to Stamford Bridge.
City may have dodged two bullets with neither men setting the league alight in their first season. The league leaders also wanted Frenkie de Jong before the young Dutchman chose Barcelona.
Will they land Niguez?