Fabian Delph turns down Stoke move to fight for Manchester City spot
Fabian Delph has turned down a move to Stoke City in the belief he can force his way into Manchester City’s first team.
Stoke were keen to sign Delph on loan or in a permanent £10 million deal but they have reluctantly come to accept defeat in their efforts to lure the England midfielder and offer him regular first-team football.
Delph is sixth in City’s midfield pecking order, behind David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Fernandinho and Yaya Toure and just ahead of youngster Phil Foden, but the 27-year-old is of the belief that he can get playing time under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium this term.
Guardiola had left the ball in Delph’s court, happy to keep the player but also recognising that he might want a greater guarantee of regularly playing time. The midfielder has decided to take his chances at City, even though his prospects of winning and holding down a first-team place look slim.
As such, Stoke have turned their sights elsewhere as Mark Hughes attempts to add a midfielder to the eight players he has brought in so far this summer.
Defender Kevin Wimmer was the latest arrival after signing from Spurs for £18 million this week while Darren Fletcher, Jese, Bruno Martins Indi and Kurt Zouma are among the other recruits.
One player who does appear to be on his way out of City, though, is Wilfried Bony, with Swansea edging closer to clinching a £13 million deal for the Ivory Coast striker.
Bony has been told he has no future at City, who have been trying to offload the striker since last summer.
Bony’s arrival at Swansea would pave the way for Fernando Llorente to leave the South Wales club for Chelsea, who are expected to sign the Spaniard for around £15 million.
Jason Denayer is also on the verge of leaving City as he prepares to spend a fourth successive season out on loan. The Belgium defender has agreed to join Galatasaray on a season-long loan and will fly to Istanbul this evening to finalise the terms of his contract and undergo a medical.
Celtic, who had Denayer on loan in 2014-15, had hoped to sign him but the 22-year-old had already reached a verbal agreement with Galatasaray, where he spent the 2015-16 season on loan.