City close in on Danilo, Mendy

HOUSTON • Manchester City are hoping to sign Danilo and Benjamin Mendy over the next few days as part of Pep Guardiola's extensive recruitment drive, which could end up costing the club close to £300 million (S$532.5 million).

City have signed Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Douglas Luiz for a combined total of up to £144 million, but the Spanish manager confirmed on Wednesday that the club were in talks with "three or four" more targets.

It is understood that City are confident that they have beaten off competition from Chelsea to sign Danilo from Real Madrid for £26.5 million. The Brazilian joined the European champions in 2015, but has failed to hold down a regular first-team place.

Guardiola is a fan of Danilo's versatility and has told the player he plans to use him at right back, left back and in central midfield.

Should the deal go through, the City manager will have spent about £80 million on two right backs in the space of a week after the purchase of Walker from Tottenham Hotspur in a £45 million deal that could rise to £54 million.

Other than Aleksandar Kolarov, who played at centre half for much of last season, City have no recognised left back. That could change if they manage to sign Monaco's Mendy. According to The Times, London, he was set for a medical check-up on Tuesday, but that was scrapped because City and Monaco still cannot agree a fee for the Frenchman.

The Ligue 1 champions want about £45 million for the 23-year-old. City are hoping to sign another left-back to provide competition for Mendy, but Southampton are resisting their attempts to sign Ryan Bertrand, who is valued at about £30 million. "We are talking to three or four players to see if they can join us for the next three or four years," Guardiola said. "We need to refresh."

City retain a strong interest in Alexis Sanchez, but manager Arsene Wenger recently said that he would not allow the £50 million- rated forward to leave Arsenal.

Should City break down their resistance, Sergio Aguero's chances of playing regular first-team football would be reduced. But Guardiola, speaking the day before the Manchester derby in Houston, Texas, said that the striker would be at City next season.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2017, with the headline 'City close in on Danilo, Mendy'. Print Edition | Subscribe