Man City exodus continues, as Crystal Palace prepare stunning club-record coup
A dream Pep Guardiola signing will spark another Man City exit, and Crystal Palace are emerging as a credible contender to complete a £35m coup, per a report.
Man City have already waved goodbye to Ilkay Gundogan this summer, while fellow established stars Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez are expected to make way. The exodus won’t stop there though, with a major new arrival set to force another big name out.
Indeed, Fabrizio Romano recently gave Josko Gvardiol to Man City his signature ‘here we go’ confirmation. The Croatia international and RB Leipzig ace is already among the world’s most dominant centre-halves despite being aged just 21.
Sky Sports subsequently poured cold water on claims anything concrete had been agreed between Leipzig and Man City.
However, Gvardiol is known to be Guardiola’s dream addition at centre-half and Romano rarely gets it wrong with regards to transfers.
If Gvardiol does arrive at the Etihad in a deal that’s expected to cost upwards of £80m, the dye will be cast for Aymeric Laporte.
The Spain international, 29, was usurped by Nathan Ake in Guardiola’s strongest eleven last season. With another left-footer in Gvardiol potentially on the way, the writing is on the wall for Laporte.
According to a remarkable report from the Daily Star, Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace could be Laporte’s next stop.
The outlet state Man City won’t stand in Laporte’s way and are prepared to accept £35m for the defender.
That is a hefty £23m less than the £58m paid to Athletic Bilbao back in 2018, though is a reflection of his advancing age and reduced importance at City.
The Star state Palace are ‘considering a move’ for Laporte who is labelled ‘unsettled’.
Hodgson wants a new centre-half who is both experienced and comfortable on the ball. In other words, Laporte is the exact type of player the Palace boss craves.
The Eagles already have two fine centre-halves at their disposal in the form of Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen.
Both have been tentatively linked with moves away and Laporte could be viewed as a successor to either. If Guehi and Andersen are retained, Laporte would add a new dimension being the only left-footer of the three.
The idea of switching to a back five and incorporating all three is also floated in the piece.
When will Crystal Palace bid?
Regarding their transfer strategy, it’s claimed Crystal Palace will be reluctant to meet City’s £35m asking price right now.
Instead, they hope to bide their time and ‘launch a formal bid’ later in the window when City are more desperate to sell.
That could suit both clubs down to the ground given Gvardiol isn’t yet a City player. It stands to reason Man City won’t sever ties with Laporte until they’ve snared Gvardiol.
Palace’s current club-record signing remains the £32m (including add-ons) paid to Liverpool when landing Christian Benteke in 2016.
If City stand firm on their valuation, Laporte would break that record.