Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly put Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson on his summer wish-list as he looks to consolidate his back-line ahead of a title push next season.
According to reports in The Sun, City are set to rival Chelsea to sign the highly-rated 24-year-old once the current campaign comes to an end in a deal worth a potential £25 million.
With John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi struggling to adapt to life in the heart of the Manchester City defence, and captain Vincent Kompany sidelined for most of the current season through injuries, Guardiola looks set to invest in his defence as he looks to build a title-winning side.
Despite Middlesbrough’s battle for survival down at the bottom of the Premier League, Gibson has impressed and helped his side concede a miserly 30 goals this season – less than Everton, Arsenal, and Liverpool.
At the other end of the field, The Mirror have alleged today that Torino striker Andrea Belotti is on Manchester City’s radar after a string of eye-catching performances in Serie A this season.
The report claims that the Citizens are the latest Premier League side to enter the race to sign the 23-year-old Italian striker, just a day after he scored an eight-minute hat-trick in Torino’s victory.
Yet Guardiola and Manchester City’s owners will have to meet the demands of the Italian side, with an £86 million buy-out clause put on the youngster after he penned a new deal back in January.
Belotti became the first player in Serie A to reach the 20-goal milestone for the season on Sunday, scoring his 20th, 21st and 22nd goals of the season as Torino came from behind to beat Palermo.
Defender Gael Clichy has said today that Manchester City teammate Leroy Sane could become the ‘next Gareth Bale’ after bursting onto the scene at the Etihad in recent weeks.
The 21-year-old German midfielder has scored six goals in his previous ten matches for Pep Guardiola’s side, and Clichy believes he has the potential to dominate football for years to come.
Speaking to The Mirror about Sane, Clichy said:
“Since that Arsenal game in December, everything changed. You don’t want to give too much praise to a young player, but in a few years he could be up there with the best.
“He reminds me a little bit of Gareth Bale – strong, powerful and he can be decisive with the ball with assists and goals. Like Bale, with the ball he can drive forward from 50, 60, 70 metres and that is an important quality to have.”
Sane has scored in his last three outings for City, finding the back of the net in the 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend which saw his side close the gap on Tottenham back to a single point.
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