Man City target cut-price star to replace Saudi defector as Liverpool steal march on £60m midfielder

Will Ford
Zetterer Varela Man City

Manchester City have their eyes on Werder Bremen’s Michael Zetterer to replace a Saudi-bound star while Pep Guardiola’s side face a battle with Liverpool for their top midfield target.

City claimed their fourth Premier League title on the bounce and sixth under Guardiola last month, just pipping Arsenal to the gong on the final day of the season.

In a bid to continue to dominate the English top flight and take back the Champions League – claimed for the 15th time by Real Madrid on Saturday – the Citizens are looking to revamp and strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.

An Ederson replacement?

They are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper as they prepare for the possible departure of Ederson this summer.

The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Saudi Arabia – though he must ‘ask for the transfer’ – and would become the third City player to move to the Saudi Pro League after Aymeric Laporte joined Al-Nassr and Riyad Mahrez left for Al-Ahli last summer.

Reports claim that City are keen on Werder Bremen star Zetterer, who moved to the German side in 2015 for just £100k and has spent time on loan at A. Klagenfurt and PEC Zwolle.

Under contract until 2027, it’s thought the 28-year-old has a release clause of around £5m.

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A battle with Liverpool

Guardiola is also keen on adding a midfielder to his ranks this summer and has his heart set on Porto’s Alan Varela, who moved to the Portuguese side last summer from Boca Juniors for just £7m.

The 22-year-old – who operates chiefly in a defensive midfield role – got two goals and three assists in his debut season in Europe and is said to have a £60m release clause in his contract.

City and Bayern have both been following his progress with interest this term but a report claims Liverpool have the edge on their rivals.

It’s claims the Reds are ‘intensifying talks’ to sign the midfielder and are preparing to make an offer to beat others to the punch.