According to local reports in the Stoke Sentinel on Tuesday afternoon, Stoke City’s proposed swoop for Manchester City and England midfielder Fabian Delph is beginning to lose some momentum.
It was widely reported by the Telegraph in early June that Stoke manager Mark Hughes was preparing to launch a £12 million offer to try and tempt him to the bet365 Stadium for the new season.
But the latest reports believe that the 27-year-old has given the Potters far less encouragement about a potential move, meaning Stoke are now locked in a waiting game until he makes a decision.
Whether Stoke or somewhere else, it seems that Delph is set to leave the Etihad this summer to raise funds for City’s huge spending spree, with Pep Guardiola not seeing him as a first-team option.
Meanwhile, contrary to reports surfacing from France yesterday, Manchester City’s young prospect Patrick Roberts has reportedly told the club today that he wants to return to Celtic for the new campaign.
Nice-Matin had claimed yesterday that the 20-year-old attacker was on the verge of agreeing on a season-long loan with French side OGC Nice, with the Ligue 1 side trying to push through a deal before Monday.
However, The Sun have claimed, earlier this morning, that Roberts would prefer a return to the Scottish champions than a switch to France, even if it is against the best wishes of the Manchester owners.
It is understood that they are reluctant to see him return to Celtic as it isn’t deemed much of a challenge, and they would much rather see him gain further experience in a tougher environment.
Aside from the rumour mill, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan looks like he could be nearing a first-team return after spending almost eight months on the sideline with a knee injury.
The German international hasn’t played since suffering the ligament damage in the victory over Watford in early December but it is thought he’s in contention for a friendly with Girona next week.
And speaking to the Manchester Evening News, boss Pep Guardiola said: “I think he’s close to coming back.
“Maybe he’ll get minutes in Girona. I don’t know, we’re going to ask the doctor because of course he was injured for a long time. We don’t want to take any risks.
“He has to be strong but of course his quality is perfect for the way we want to play.”
The 26-year-old played an influential role in Manchester City’s rampant early season form last campaign, scoring three goals and creating 12 chances in just 10 Premier League appearances.