Having missed out on top target Dani Alves with the Brazilian instead signing for French giants Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City have now set their sights on Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand, according to the Daily Mail.
The England international would reportedly cost £25 million and was identified in early June as one of the club’s targets for this summer transfer window.
Where would Bertrand fit in at the Etihad?
Pep Guardiola is known to value the versatility of his players and Bertrand would fit in there well. Given his performances as part of a back three under Claude Puel last season, it is clear that when required, he can fill in at centre-back. That seems unlikely to be his regular position though.
Having spent much of his career at left-back, he would surely be an option there for City. With Gael Clichy having departed and Aleksandar Kolarov also adapted to a makeshift central defender, Bertrand could easily find himself first choice if a move for Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy can’t be pulled off.
Bertrand is more than capable of getting down the wing and supporting attacks, though in a very different manner to that of Dani Alves. Bertrand prefers to support a more advanced winger, despite having spent time as a winger himself at Chelsea. With two goals and four assists last season, you can see that he has potential to be an attacking threat with his crosses and overlapping runs a threat.
Is he worth £25 million?
The fee may seem steep for a mid-table Premier League defender, but Bertrand is much more than that. One of the top performers in one of the best defences in the Premier League last season, he has proven himself as an established defender.
His nationality is also likely to inflate a potential fee, given that he would count as a homegrown player for squad registration purposes. On top of that, he has experience at the very highest level having won the Champions League in his spell at Chelsea and competed for titles with the Blues.
At 27 years of age, he still has plenty of time left ahead of him and is probably at the peak of his career now, but with bags of experience from his time at Chelsea and in the Premier League with the Saints. That makes him an attractive option and certainly cheaper than many alternatives.
Would Bertrand want the move?
It is hard to tell. Given the selling club nature of Southampton, it certainly seems possible that he would be sold and a bumper contract in Manchester could be enough to convince him. A return to Champions League football and a shot at the Premier League title could also be influential.
However, it is worth remembering that Bertrand is one of several players on the fringes of the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer. He may, therefore, be reluctant to give up a guaranteed key role at Saint Mary’s to sit on the bench under Guardiola. The Citizens may have to promise him a regular starting role.
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