Manchester City set sights on England new boy as ‘long-term target’

Manchester City are tracking Adam Wharton as a long-term midfield target
Manchester City are tracking Adam Wharton as a long-term midfield target

Manchester City are believed to have tagged Crystal Palace midfielder Adam Wharton as a ‘long-term’ target for the club with the new England international winning over important figures at the Etihad.

Wharton has made a rapid rise in esteem thanks to a stellar first few months in the Premier League after he joined Crystal Palace from Blackburn Rovers in January.

Wharton’s rise

Crystal Palace secured his services for an initial fee of £18m but that could balloon up to £22m if certain criteria are met.

Conservative estimates of Wharton’s current market value would suggest that the midfielder is worth at least £25m. However, given that Crystal Palace have him under contract until 2029 and he is set to take part in the Euros this summer, Manchester City would be asked to pay a considerably higher fee if they came calling for the 20-year-old in the next transfer window.

According to fresh reports, Manchester City are monitoring Wharton’s progress but are not expected to spring for him this summer.

Manchester City could soon lose key figures from their midfield with Bernardo Silva long-linked with an exit while Kevin De Bruyne has hinted that he might need to consider his future when Pep Guardiola leaves the club.

‘He’s impressed us’

Wharton has quickly won over England manager Gareth Southgate, who saw enough from the youngster in the 28 minutes he played in his international debut against Bosnia to back him as one of the midfielders in his Euros squad with the likes of Jack Grealish and James Maddison missing out.

“[England] have been short of these types of players for seven or eight years, if I am honest”, Southgate said.

“There’s no question he’s impressed us. We saw things in his performances for his club that showed [here]. The other players have recognised his quality very quickly.”

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Crystal Palace have usually proven to be a selling club when it comes to players wanted by top clubs but they have also sought to get handsome fees for those stars such as the £50m windfall from the departure of Aaron Wan-Bissaka for Manchester United.

Wharton has also been linked with a potential move to Bayern Munich and his participation in the Euros could fuel further interest from clubs across Europe.

Manchester City have reasons to be concerned about the long-term health of their midfield with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan recently departed and Rodri seemingly picking up the slack while new-signing Matheus Nunes has struggled for game-time.