Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Manchester City plotting a summer move for Sporting Lisbon wonderkid

Manchester City are planning a move for Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes in the summer transfer window. But they have to pay the youngster’s release clause, which is around £60 million, for his services.

Pep Guardiola’s side are having another memorable season. After being second best to Liverpool last season, they wrapped up the Premier League title with three games remaining this campaign. This was their fifth Premier League title and third under Guardiola in just his five seasons in charge of the club.

They also won their fourth consecutive League Cup, making them the most successful team in the competition’s history alongside Liverpool, with eight trophies each. And above all, they reached their first-ever Champions League final this season. They face Premier League rivals Chelsea on 30th May in Lisbon.

Despite all the on-field success, the club are again looking to strengthen in the upcoming transfer window. Guardiola have identified his targets and will approach them once the window opens.

Pep Guardiola looking for new left-back
Guardiola won his third league title with City this season. Photo: Mirror UK

City’s plan to sign Mendes

City are looking to strengthen their left-back options this summer and have identified Sporting’s Nuno Mendes as the priority target for the position. The 18-year-old defender has played an integral part in Sporting’s first league title in 12 years.

Mendes has started 28 league games this season and has an impressive WhoScored rating of 7.24. And according to Daily Mail, City have made initial contact with Mendes’ agent Miguel Pinho, who also represents Manchester United’s talisman Bruno Fernandes.

City’s main stumbling block is Sporting’s asking price for the teenager. Club president Frederico Varandas will only let Mendes go if City pay his release clause of £60 million. But City are planning to offer a total package of £51 million, which includes £44.3 million initial fee plus Pedro Porro, who is out on loan at Sporting for two seasons.

The Portuguese club are keen to keep Porro beyond 2022, but are not willing to include him in any Mendes deal. They want separate negotiations for Mendes and Porro. But City are confident a deal can be struck for Mendes with Sporting and the player is also keen to move to England. They will offer Mendes a five-year contract worth £2.1 million per year if they are able to negotiate a deal with Sporting.

City are keen to sign Mendes this summer. Photo: Cdn Vox

Where will Mendes fit in City?

Guardiola has spent huge money on his defence during his time at the Etihad. City have paid over £50 million each on the likes of Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, and Kyle Walker over the years. And last summer, they spent over £100 million combined for Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake.

But the only recognised left-back they have at the club is Mendy and even he has struggled with injuries. The French defender has just played 49 league games in his four seasons at the club.

Both Cancelo and Aleks Zinchenko have deputised at left-back this season. And they have done reasonably well. But both of them are more comfortable in their natural positions, which is at right-back and midfield respectively.

As a result, a specialist left-back like Mendes should be Guardiola’s next priority. And given his relatively young age, he can be the club’s left-back for the next 15 years.

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