Manchester City have will have to cough up for Olympique Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, according to reports.
The Sky Blues were initially linked with Frenkie De Jong, but could only watch as the Dutchman was snapped up by Barcelona.
Now, Pep Guardiola’s side have turned their attention to Ndombele, but Lyon have the ball in their court as they will demand a fee of £80 million for the Frenchman, as per a report by the Metro.
Manchester City were willing to better Barcelona’s offer for De Jong, so it’s likely that Lyon will take advantage of that and demand a high fee for Ndombele.
Tanguy Ndombele – The ideal replacement for Fernandinho
There aren’t too many areas where the Manchester City squad can improve, but the defensive midfield position is definitely one on Guardiola’s mind.
While Ilkay Gundogan has done a good enough job when called upon, it remains to be seen if the side can make it in the final stretch of the games in the Champions League and the Premier League with Fernandinho being the best option.
The Brazilian is 33 already, and the club need someone who can be a good back-up or even displace the former Shakhtar man from the starting line-up.
Ndombele is similar to Gundogan, but is perhaps more defensive minded and has better abilities to shield the defence. Under Guardiola, Gundogan has mended his game to become more of a central midfielder compared to his box to box style at Borussia Dortmund, so the German might not be the best choice in the deeper role for a whole season.
So far this season, Ndombele has been a rock in midfield, having averaged two tackles per game in Ligue 1. The 22-year old also had similar numbers in the Champions League, which proves he can perform at the highest stage and not just the Ligue 1, a league many deem inferior to the Premier League.
Manchester City are best at keeping the ball in the Premier League, and Ndombele is strong with his passing (his 89% pass accuracy is actually better than Fernandinho’s) and ball retention, so he’s likely to have a seamless transition if he signs for the club.
Stats via Whoscored