‘City have everything’ – Pundit believes £85m signing ‘would be a surprise’ amid Ake, Akanji form

Jason Soutar
Josko Gvardiol with the Man City badge.
Alan Smith says he would be surprised if Man City sign Josko Gvardiol this summer.

Arsenal legend Alan Smith says he is bemused by Manchester City’s reported interest in RB Leipzig and Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol.

Gvardiol has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League for quite some time.

Chelsea were the favourites to sign him once upon a time, but it is now City who are leading the race and look set to cross the line with no competition in sight.

Leipzig want at least €100million (£85.3million) plus bonuses for the Croatian international, who would vastly improve what is already an unbeliever City machine under Pep Guardiola.

Although he is probably an upgrade on Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji, neither player deserve to have their minutes reduced after brilliant 2022/23 campaigns.

This is our view and also the view of ex-Arsenal striker Smith, who thinks “the signing of Gvardiol would be a bit of a surprise” given the form of John Stones, Ake, Akanji and Ruben Dias.

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“That would be the last area I’d be looking at, but perhaps one or two of their centre halves might leave the club this summer,” Smith told Gambling Zone.

“When you think about their defenders, Stones, Nathan Ake, Akanji, they were brilliant last season. I thought that Akanji had a phenomenal debut campaign. Dias, when he played towards the end of the season, was magnificent.

“I think the signing of Gvardiol would be a bit of a surprise,” he continued.

“It would be just like Guardiola to sign him and then play him in midfield and surprise everyone!

“City seem to have everything. Most importantly, they’ve got the best coach that’s probably ever managed in Pep Guardiola.

“At the start of every campaign, City’s players always retain that hunger to go and compete again. It was something that Manchester United did so brilliantly under Alex Ferguson who constantly pushed and motivated his teams to keep climbing the mountain.

“Pep Guardiola has that quality, and he will have his team raring to go again. It’s hard to look past them for the title again.”

Gvardiol is a left-footed centre-back, which in this day and age adds an extra 10 or 20 million to a price tag.

Guardiola has two left-footers in Ake and Aymeric Laporte in his squad at this moment in time, though the latter is expected to leave in the summer transfer window.

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