Manchester City scouts were in attendance for Stade Rennais’ weekend win over Metz in France, as the club consider a move for forward Jeremy Doku.
Pep Guardiola is looking to strengthen his attacking options during the closing weeks of the summer transfer window, with Riyad Mahrez still to be replaced at the Etihad Stadium.
The Algerian international completed a £30 million move to Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia despite signing a new contract last year, leaving the Sky Blues seeking to replace the 78-goal star.
Manchester City’s leading candidate to replace the 32-year-old is widely reported to be Rennes right-winger Jeremy Doku, who scored during the French club’s Ligue 1 win over Metz on Sunday.
The 21-year-old was directly involved in 11 goals in 35 appearances last season, with Manchester City scouts in attendance at the weekend – as the treble-winners consider launching a bid for the Belgian forward.
ESPN report that talks regarding a possible deal are ongoing, however a gap exists in the club’s valuation of the player, with Rennes wanting over £45 million.
During the weekend, Rennes manager Bruno Genesio suggested that the player could move to the Premier League this summer, saying: “It all depends on the offer we are talking about. There are offers that are difficult to refuse, whether for players, a coach or other players in football.
“For the moment, we are not there. I’ve no information on what I read or hear. He’s a Rennes player, he showed it tonight. Until proven otherwise, he can be used.”
Sport Witness relay a report from France, which claims that despite some doubts regarding the Belgian’s injury record and whether the player could fit into Guardiola’s style, that Manchester City are ready to move for the forward due to his ‘raw talent.’
Doku is ‘high’ on the Blues’ list of targets to replace Mahrez, but a ‘concrete offer’ is yet to be submitted, according to an HLN report.
Should Manchester City fail to sign Doku, ESPN further claim that Lyon star Bradley Barcola could targeted as another option.
Crystal Palace forward Michael Olise was also previously mooted, however the 21-year-old is expected to sign for Chelsea, after agreeing personal terms with the West London club.
Manchester City, who face Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday, are also trying to sign West Ham and Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta, having previously seen a £70 million verbal approach rejected.
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