According to reports in Italy yesterday afternoon, Manchester City could be set to miss out on alleged summer transfer target Franck Kessie amidst new interest from Serie A side giants Roma.
The Atalanta midfielder has grabbed the interest of both City and their Premier League rivals Chelsea, but Il Corriere dello Sport claim that Roma have ramped up their own interest overnight.
The report claims that the Italian side are in a rush to beat their English rivals to the 20-year-old prospect and a meeting took place between the two sides last night to try and push a deal through.
It is believed that an agreement has already been made between Atalanta and Roma, but Kessie’s agent George Atangana is currently preventing a deal being finalised.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down rumours that Dele Alli will be his main transfer target this summer, claiming that he’s not interested in the Tottenham star.
Earlier in the week, The Sun had reported that ex-Barcelona player Xavi had been told by the Manchester City manager that Alli would make a perfect fit, increasing summer speculation.
Yet the City boss has cleared up his stance on the Tottenham midfielder, saying he is ‘one of the most fantastic players’ around but insisting he’s not going to try and sign him over the window.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Guardiola said:
“Mauricio Pochettino has to stay calm. Dele Alli will be his player next season. I am sure about that.
“We don’t want him. He is a fantastic player, good, new, English footballer. But Manchester City doesn’t want Dele Alli.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City missed the opportunity to go third in the Premier League after being held to a 0-0 stalemate by rivals Manchester United on Thursday night.
Despite dominating possession all evening the hosts couldn’t find a way through a stubborn United defence, meaning it’s as you were in terms of the table heading in to the weekend’s fixtures.
Talking in his post-match interview after the frustrating draw, Guardiola said:
“We cannot forget which team we were against tonight. They created two clear chances and I am satisfied. I know how difficult it is to play against Manchester United.
“Every game until the last game now will be a final. We have the talent but it’s not easy with so many players behind the ball.
“We all have tough games coming up now and we know it’s not an option to not win these games. Every game is important.”
Manchester City must now turn their focus to Sunday afternoon when they face a trip to bottom-three side Middlesbrough, knowing a win could take them to third until Liverpool play on Monday.