Manchester City round-up: Espanyol defender targeted; Sanchez latest; Champions League draw reaction
Manchester City’s elaborate summer spending could potentially continue a week before the deadline as Spanish reports suggest they are poised to move for Espanyol defender Aaron Martin.
Mundo Deportivo understand that the 20-year-old left-back has been monitored by Pep Guardiola throughout transfer window and that the Spaniard is contemplating whether to make a move or not.
It is thought that City may test the waters with an offer in the region of £18.5 million after already making informal contact with the club – although this is far below his release clause of £28.5 million.
Martin has impressed heavily in his debut season in La Liga, breaking into the Espanyol and locking down a regular first-team spot with his potent threat on the wings and ever-improving discipline in defence.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has once again insisted that long-term Manchester City target Alexis Sanchez will remain at the Emirates amidst further speculation of an Etihad switch.
Reports in the Mirror on Tuesday morning had suggested that City were considering making one final approach for the 28-year-old, aiming to test Arsene Wenger’s resolve with a £70 million offer.
However, Wenger has played it down once more, with Sky Sports relaying he said: “Overall he looks in good shape. He has always been focused on his job. I don’t think he’s too much disturbed by all the noise – players at that level are used to it. Some deal better with it than others.
“He’s very focused, very happy. It doesn’t mean there’s no chance to extend his contract, though we haven’t managed to do it.”
The Arsenal boss was speaking ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday, and announced that Sanchez is in contention to feature for the first time this year after suffering abdominal injury.
And lastly, Manchester City have managed to avoid all of Europe’s big boys after the draw for the Champions League group stages was made on Thursday afternoon in a ceremony held in Monaco.
Starting the draw in pot two alongside rivals Manchester United, Pep Guardiola’s men know that they’ll face Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian side Napoli and Dutch outfit Feyenoord.
The Spaniard will no doubt be pleased at avoiding the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus, with a promising Napoli outfit the only real test between them and winning the group.