Date: 1st June 2022 at 4:22pm
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Manchester City have shown an interest in acquiring AC Milan forward Rafael Leao.

What’s the word?

The Citizens are looking to take advantage of indecision amongst those in charge at the San Siro whether to keep the Portuguese star or sell him, according to journalist Santi Aouna.

And while there is an offer of a contract extension on the table for the marksman, the Serie A outfit could try and offload the player while his stock is high, with this summer an ideal time to do so as he has just been named Player of the Year in the Italian top flight.

Aouna claims that City started talks a few weeks ago with agent Jorge Mendes, and could look to make their third attacking move of the summer, after already agreeing to a deal for Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, and finally bringing in Julian Alvarez from River Plate, that was agreed in January but becomes permanent in July.

Bad news for Grealish

The reports that Pep Guardiola is still pursuing attacking targets doesn’t bode well for the current forwards at the Etihad Stadium, especially £100m man Jack Grealish, who struggled for consistent game time even before these new faces have come in.

The former Aston Villa man was left out of the starting XI 16 times by the Spaniard in the Premier League in his debut season at the club, and while the idea of Leao was considered by some as an additional striker, the signings of Haaland and Alvarez suggests that he would be mainly targeted to play at left wing, which is normally occupied by the Englishman.

With the Birmingham native tallying three goals and three assists in the league during the 2021/22 campaign, it isn’t a surprise to see Guardiola move for a player with much higher goal contribution numbers, as Leao registered 11 goals and ten assists in his league campaign the same season.

And this record has seen the Portugal international receive praise from his former coach Tiago Fernandes, who compared him to one of the game’s greatest ever players.

He said:

“I’d say that he reminds me of ‘Fenomeno’ Ronaldo for his pace, technique and the quality of his finishing.

“Perhaps he still has to improve in the air, but I want to tell the Rossoneri fans that Leao is a champion who can decide a game by himself.

“He certainly has the talent to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona and all the best clubs in Europe.

“He’s good enough for any team in the world and he has a glorious career ahead of him.”

If he were to move to the North West of England, it is no doubt that the 22-year-old will flourish, as the former Barcelona boss has always been keen to develop young attacking talent, as shown by the vast improvement in players such as Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, and Raheem Sterling since they started playing under his management.

As for Grealish, if Leao comes in, it should help him rather than hurt him, as healthy competition for places may help him become more ruthless in attack because he undeniably can shine in sky blue.

2022/23 is setting up to be an exciting one for Manchester City faithful, and if they can add the £45m-rated Leao to their attacking arsenal, they could be unstoppable.

And in other news, Manchester City have also been linked with a swoop for another player who boasted a fine 2021/22 season.


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