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Brighton ‘cannot rule out’ Kaoru Mitoma exit as Manchester City circle for star player



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Brighton would require a ‘huge’ offer from Manchester City to sell forward Kaoru Mitoma this summer.

Pep Guardiola is seeking to strengthen his wide attacking options following the departure of Riyad Mahrez, who scored 15 goals for Manchester City last season, prior to moving to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli.

The treble-winners have also lost club captain Ilkay Gundogan, and the German netted 11 goals for the Sky Blues – including a brace in the Emirates FA Cup Final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium last season.

Mahrez’s exit from the Etihad Stadium was somewhat unexpected, after the 32-year-old signed a new contract until 2025 last year.

Manchester City have been linked with Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, but have played down links to both Barcelona’s Raphinha and RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo.

Kaoru Mitoma, who helped Brighton qualify for the UEFA Europa League last season, has also emerged as a potential target, with Guardiola recently highlighting the impact of the Japanese forward.

The 26-year-old scored 10 goals and registered eight assists for the Seagulls during the previous campaign, but Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly ‘desperate’ to keep hold of the forward, amid interest from Manchester City.

Football Insider claim that it would take a ‘huge’ fee for the Blues to sign Mitoma this summer, although an exit from the AMEX ‘cannot be ruled out’, despite the forward only signing for Brighton in 2021.

Manchester City and Brighton were at loggerheads last summer, as the Sky Blues pursued a deal for full-back Marc Cucurella, however the Spaniard signed for Chelsea.

City completed the signing of centre-back Josko Gvardiol over the weekend, with the £77.6 million deal being the Sky Blues’ second first-team addition of the summer.

The Croatian joins fellow international teammate Mateo Kovacic, who swapped Stamford Bridge for the Etihad Stadium in June.