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Manchester City identify €100 million midfielder as ‘dream’ Kevin De Bruyne replacement



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Following news of Kevin De Bruyne’s long-term hamstring injury, Manchester City are now widely expected to re-enter the transfer market for a replacement.

The Belgium international midfielder sustained another problem with his hamstring during last week’s 0-3 Premier League opening win against Burnley, in an injury that is understood to be a reoccurrence of the problem he suffered in the Champions League final.

De Bruyne was withdrawn during the first-half of the memorable 1-0 victory over Inter in Istanbul back in June, recovering much sooner than expected ahead of the start of the new season, but aggravating the problem at Turf Moor.

As such, Manchester City are now considering the option of surgery on the Belgium captain, meaning he may now be ruled out for the remainder of 2023 and make a return to action in early 2024.

Given the importance of Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City’s midfield options and attacking threat, it is likely that club transfer officials will refer to the transfer market for possible reinforcements and replacements aside from the option of Lucas Paqueta.

According to the information of Gianluca Di Marzio, Pep Guardiola’s dream replacement for Kevin De Bruyne is RB Leipzig’s Spanish international attacking midfielder Dani Olmo.

While Manchester City are reportedly trying to ‘understand the feasibility of a transfer’, it is highlighted that at the moment, RB Leipzig have now intention of selling the 25-year-old fresh off the back of his hat-trick performance against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup.

The report highlights that while Olmo’s Leipzig contract includes a €55 million release clause, that term does not become active until next season. As such, the Bundesliga side could demand as much as €80 million to €100 million for the player.

Despite the high figures being mentioned by the report, City’s interest is reaffirmed and suggested that Etihad Stadium officials will still try to negotiate a deal in the coming weeks ahead.

With regards to Lucas Paqueta, the West Ham United midfielder was seen as a target for Manchester City irrespective of the future of Bernardo Silva, and aside from the injury now sustained by Kevin De Bruyne.

City are hoping to intensify talks over the 25-year-old in the coming days, while West Ham will hope to secure a deal for Cole Palmer in return but in a separate deal, as the London club are open to either a temporary or permanent move for the England under-21 star.

Palmer has attracted interest from across the Premier League, and it is understood that Manchester City knocked back a proposal worth £30 million from Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in the transfer window.