Thursday 14 December 2017

Delph on City's radar amid £80m bid for Pogba

Aston Villa's Fabian Delph a target for Manchester City
Aston Villa's Fabian Delph a target for Manchester City

Mark Ogden

Manuel Pellegrini has added Aston Villa's England international Fabian Delph to his list of summer transfer targets at Manchester City.

Pellegrini's No 1 priority is Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, with a bid of around £80m likely later this month, but Delph is also on City's radar after his emergence over the past year.

Delph, 25, is now a regular at international level under Roy Hodgson and settled at Villa after signing a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the Midlands club in January.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood branded the former Leeds prodigy the "best midfielder in the country" after the 3-2 win over Everton last month.

City's scouting staff have also been impressed with Delph's energy and drive and Pellegrini will consider a move if his priority targets start to fall away. Delph would also appeal to City due to their determination to boost their home-grown quota.

Pogba, the former Manchester United midfielder, is Pellegrini's main focus and widely expected to leave Juventus this summer for a significant fee.

City are aware they will face serious competition from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain while a possible bid from United has also not been discounted.

City officials denied reports emanating from Italy that an offer had already been made for the 22-year-old but Pellegrini's interest is genuine and an opening bid is expected shortly.

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is another leading target and a £30m bid was rejected last week by the Merseysiders.

City are also close to agreeing a deal with Fulham for promising teenager Patrick Roberts. The England U-19 international made 20 appearances for Fulham last season and could be loaned back to the west Londoners.

Sergio Aguero has moved to dampen suggestions he could leave the Etihad by admitting he is "very happy" at City, despite the club missing out on the Premier League title.

Aguero has been mooted as a possible target for Real Madrid but he insists that he is "very, very happy" at City is already focusing on helping Pellegrini challenge Chelsea next season.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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