6 players Man City should target after Lucas Paqueta betting scandal

Manchester City are arguably the one side in world football that don’t need strengthening. For the fairness of competition, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to bolster their squad.

However, that won’t stop Pep Guardiola improving the Premier League champions in the market, with Sheikh Mansour sure to hand him some more bags of cash this summer. But the Spanish genius will have to amend his transfer plans slightly after £85m target Lucas Paqueta was charged with allegedly breaching betting regulations this week.

If Man City are happy to look at alternatives to the West Ham and Brazil star in the final third, then they may be slightly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of world-class options available in attacking midfield and out wide at present – especially in the Premier League and Bundesliga.

So, who could the Cityzens turn their attention to in the market? Here are six options.

Dani Olmo

Dani Olmo is due a big move / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

The 26-year-old has already been linked with Man City in the past and could eventually make his RB Leipzig exit in the coming months. The exciting Spaniard has blossomed in the absence of Dominik Szoboszlai this season, providing eight goals and five assists in 25 appearances in all competitions.

Injuries are a concern when it comes to Olmo, as is interest from Barcelona, but the attacking midfielder is exactly the kind of player that would thrive under Guardiola. Not the most glamorous name on the market, but a supreme technician with an attractive release clause of £51m.

Mohammed Kudus

Mohammed Kudus has been a revelation at West Ham / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

If you can’t sign one West Ham attacker, why not sign a different one?

Kudus has been a revelation since making the move from Ajax to the London Stadium, even overcoming David Moyes’ aversion to flair during his debut campaign. He finished with eight goals and six assists in the Premier League, saving his best moment for the Etihad after a remarkable overhead kick on the final day of the season in a 3-1 defeat to the champions.

A player capable of playing across the front line and even featuring as a false nine, Kudus has already proven himself a relentless dribbler, keen goalscorer and athletic forward during his time in the English capital.

Florian Wirtz

Florian Wirtz may continue with Bayer Leverkusen / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Voted the 2023/24 Bundesliga Player of the Season for his truly remarkable campaign en route to the Meisterschale with Bayer Leverkusen, Wirtz is the hottest property in Europe right now. The 21-year-old, who often features as one of two attacking midfielders in a 3-4-2-1, deserves all the plaudits he is currently receiving.

Wirtz would be an ideal fit for Man City, who certainly have the financial muscle to secure his signature, but the player’s agent has hinted at a Leverkusen stay for the 2024/25 campaign. However, that means little in modern football.

Eberechi Eze

Eberechi Eze has been sensational at Crystal Palace / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

Freed from the shackles of Roy Hodgson towards the end of the 2023/24 season as Oliver Glasner arrived to rescue him, Eze has been in sensational form over the past few months. Five goals in his final seven league appearances has once again put him firmly in the shop window this summer, with no doubts over his immense technical ability when fit.

If Man City are searching for a young and gifted attacking midfielder who would also class as a homegrown player, then they can’t do any better than the exciting England international.

RB Leipzig v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga

Xavi Simons’ future is up in the air / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

Simons has an incredibly bright future, but it’s currently uncertain. The Dutch international was on loan at RB Leipzig last season – playing alongside Olmo – and put in consistently astounding performances for the DFL Supercup winners.

Capable of playing centrally or in wide positions as an inside forward, Simons is actually a Paris Saint-Germain player, and the French champions will be keen to keep him at the Parc des Princes next season. However, Man City have been linked with a move for the 21-year-old over the past year, and could well offer him an enticing Premier League opportunity.

Jamal Musiala

Jamal Musiala is one of Germany’s finest / Diego Souto/GettyImages

Despite Bayern Munich finishing the 2023/24 season without silverware and a whopping 17 points off champions Leverkusen, Musiala still had a pretty strong campaign. It wasn’t his best, but the German youngster often proved a saving grace during difficult days.

The twinkle-toed 21-year-old is another product of the Bundesliga talent factory and would cost an eye-watering sum to tempt away from Bayern. But with an uncertain future in Bavaria – most likely under Vincent Kompany – Musiala may feel now is the time to spread his wings.

Man City couldn’t get much better than Musiala this summer, that’s for certain.


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