Guardiola says he's 'learned' from previous games against Chelsea
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Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has reportedly issued a mandate for the club to go after PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe at any cost. Real Madrid are broadly considered the favourites to land Mbappe with his contract in France soon to expire, but the Blues could throw a spanner in the works if they are prepared to put money on the table in January.
As it stands, Mbappe will be out of contract and at liberty to leave PSG for free in the summer of 2022.
By that time, he will have spent five years with the Parisians, putting together the kind of scoring record which leaves nothing to prove in Ligue 1.
In January, Mbappe and his entourage will be free to enter pre-contract negotiations ahead of a free summer move.
According to The Transfer Window Podcast, however, City are preparing to tempt PSG into taking him off their hands six months ahead of schedule, given the risk of losing him for free will be hanging over their heads.
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Surely, that would be preferable for the French side given that the youngster does not appear to be keen on signing a new deal at the Parc des Princes.
However, the fact that they reportedly turned down a £154million offer from Los Blancos on deadline day implies that money may not sway them when it comes to Mbappe.
City are still in the market for a striker after missing out on Harry Kane this summer.
Although Kane was believed to be keen on a move as trophies continue to elude Tottenham, chances of him playing at the Etihad get slimmer and slimmer as he approaches his thirties.
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In essence, that ship may have sailed, and much younger and equally exciting alternatives are out there on the market in Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
City do have a number of elements they could use to lure in a player of Mbappe’s calibre.
For one, the Premier League is in a fantastic place, and by Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti’s own admission it is currently ahead of La Liga.
Furthermore, City’s prospects are looking up after dominating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a feat not many thought possible based on their imperious early-season performances.
Haaland remains a lingering elephant in the room however, with securing his signature requiring more than a hint of transfer poker.
For City to go the whole season without a senior striker would be a huge gamble, but signing someone of Mbappe’s calibre in January would put them out of the race to sign Haaland when his release clause becomes active in the summer.
If they opted to wait in order to make a move for the Norwegian, their decision to hold fire could all be for nothing if a fellow European heavyweight lands him instead.
In many ways, then, Mbappe would be a fantastic move in January, but only if the player himself was willing to play ball.
It is widely held that his dream is to play at the Bernabeu, and a move there would see him become La Liga’s new poster-boy.
The decision could be made for him though if Los Blancos fail to match the money City may put on the table in January.
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