Tactical Insights

Euro giants ‘confident’ they will ‘seduce’ Guardiola ‘luxury’ in transfer bomb as Barcelona ‘prohibits’ sale to City

Man City will have to ward off interest from Atletico Madrid in Julian Alvarez over the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The Citizens were crowned Premier League champions for the fourth consecutive time on the final day of last season by beating West Ham 3-1.

Pep Guardiola’s side were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the quarter-finals on penalties in undeserved circumstances, while they were beaten by arch-rivals Man Utd in the FA Cup final to deny them a Double.

Guardiola had guided them to an incredible Treble in 2023 to cement his place as one of the greatest Premier League managers but there have been rumours that he could leave at the end of his contract in 2025.

The Man City boss has himself said that he’s “closer to leaving than staying” at the Citizens beyond the end of next season and that has led to speculation some of his current squad could be off this summer.

Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish are among the names who have been linked with moves to pastures new and now a move to Spain for Alvarez has been mooted.

Reports in Spain claim Atletico Madrid are planning a transfer ‘bomb’ with the La Liga giants having ‘its sights set on’ Man City striker Alvarez, who started 31 Premier League matches this term.

The Argentina international is the ‘great desire’ of Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer market and ‘although this operation is complicated and its success is uncertain, Ateético will not hesitate to take advantage of any opportunity that arises.’

There is a belief that Alvarez would ‘welcome a change of scenery due to the greater role he could have in the Metropolitano’ with the 24-year-old described as a ‘luxury substitute for Guardiola’.

Despite not being able to match Man City for money, Atletico Madrid are ‘confident that its sporting project can seduce’ while ‘the possible arrival of other forwards at City could further complicate his situation and make him consider an exit.’

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Although Atletico have ‘not yet made an official communication to address the operation, the first approaches have already been made to find out the player’s receptivity towards the interest of the Madrid club’.

As well as outgoings, Man City will be trying to tempt new talent through the doors at the Etihad Stadium and Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde is reportedly a target.

However, reports in Spain insist that new Barcelona boss Hansi Flick ‘prohibits’ the sale of Balde to Man City and ‘closes the exit door’ to the Citizens.

It was understood that Guardiola ‘was very interested in the services’ as they look to improve the left-side of defence.

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