Manchester City transfer news: Sheikh Mansour gives Pep Guardiola ‘green light’ as Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy & Ederson deals move closer
Sheikh Mansour has agreed to Pep Guardiola’s list of summer targets and the money required to sign them, and a number of deals are close to completion
Goal reported on Saturday that a deal for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson was near , and the Brazilian arrived at City’s training ground on Tuesday to complete a £35m transfer .
Man City hold talks over Alexis & Walker in London
Al Mubarak, who was speaking last week, said “hopefully you’ll be hearing soon” about the club’s plans for the goalkeeping position, a clear sign that he is aware of the progress of City’s transfer plans.
Goal understands City have been working on their preferred targets for several months and will soon be able to confirm several other deals, with Ederson and Bernardo Silva already completed.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain held talks over Tottenham’s Kyle Walker in London at the weekend and although no breakthrough was made, the club believe they will be able to sign the England international.
It is a similar story for Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy, who has offers from several clubs around Europe but wants to move to the Etihad Stadium.
Al Mubarak says full-backs are a key part of Guardiola’s plans, and gave the impression that the Blues will be able to get the players they have identified.
“If you look at our last two or three windows, the number of players we have done and that continuous change we have made in the squad has worked well for us. I think this year we will see more of that,” he told City’s official website.
“There are particular positions that are clear. You can see the players that are exiting right now, and that will give a clear indication of the positions that are a high priority for us to fill.
“Full-back is clear both on the right and the left are areas that require investment from our side.
Ederson arrives at Man City training ground
“Pep relies heavily on that position. The way he plays, and you’ve seen glimpses of that this year, he has a big affinity to that full-back position on the right and the left, and he has a big requirement in terms of the type of players that fit the role he wants for that position.
“So that’s an area that clearly requires some work and we know exactly what Pep wants.
“More importantly Pep knows what he wants and who he wants. I hope we are successful in bringing in the players he needs.”
Al Mubarak was also asked about the possibility of bringing Joe Hart back to the club after releasing Willy Caballero on a free transfer.
But he was quick to move away from the Hart discussion and instead revealed that the club “have done a lot of work on this area and our target has been set”.
That is a clear reference to Ederson, who could be officially confirmed as a City player as early as Tuesday afternoon.
“You should expect us to bring in a goalkeeper,” he said. “That’s another area that requires some work.
“Pep knows exactly what he needs. We’ve done a lot of work on this area and our target has been set. Hopefully you’ll be hearing soon what we’re going to be doing in that area.”
The City chairman also explained how he was part of the process of finalising Guardiola’s list of targets, and how those plans were presented to the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour.
Sources close to the club have told Goal that Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci are also key targets and there is a confidence that both are achievable, particularly the Chilean.
“It’s a process that’s continuous, it’s part of our day-to-day operation,” he said.
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“Scouting is every day, all season long. The manager is thinking about the squad every day, not just at the end of the season or the beginning, throughout the season.
“Txiki, Brian Marwood, everyone in our football operation thinks about this every day. That thinking evolves throughout the year to get to a final point where decisions are made.
“That thinking evolves throughout the year and we get to a final point at the end of the season where decisions are made, directions are decided and that is a decision that involves scouting from the beginning, the definition that the manager decides in terms of the positions that need to be filled, the players that are leaving and the players that he wants coming in.
“With the support of Txiki, Brian, our scouting network, there is a plan that comes together, a discussion that happens with Ferran Soriano and myself, an agreement and then a final a endorsement from his Highness Sheikh Mansour who gives us the green light to concede.
“So it’s a continuous process. It didn’t begin on the Monday the day after the season ended, it’s been going on from the beginning.
“It’s a continuous conversation, it’s a continual conversation between me and his Highness. Sheikh Mansour asks for regular updates on how our thinking is evolving. He’s also in the process, he knows where we are going, so there are no surprises.
“By the time we come with our final lists, he has been aware from the beginning of where we are heading, so it’s not me showing up one day, saying, ‘This is the list, these are the players we want’. Mansour from the beginning is part of the process and I keep him up-to-date on how Pep’s thinking is going and how the group is supporting him.”