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Manchester City enquire about Bayer Leverkusen star amid midfield injury crisis and Lucas Paqueta chaos



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Manchester City have made a late enquiry surrounding the availability of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz in light of a deepening midfield crisis.

Pep Guardiola was without both Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva for Saturday’s Premier League win over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, with De Bruyne sidelined for up to five months after undergoing surgery on a hamstring injury.

The treble-winners have lost both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez this summer, and had been closing in on a move for West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta, however the deal dramatically collapsed after the emergence of an FA investigation into the player.

Manchester City had accelerated their interest in the 25-year-old after discovering that De Bruyne would be out until the new year, but a transfer to the Etihad Stadium was thrown into chaos, after the Daily Mail exclusively revealed that the 25-year-old is subject to an investigation for potential betting breaches.

City are now frantically looking for a new midfielder during the final days of the transfer window, and reports from Italy suggest that the club have enquired about Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz.

The 20-year-old was directly involved in 12 goals in 25 appearances last season, and despite Guardiola liking the player, signing the midfielder at this late stage of the window is deemed as complicated.

Bayer Leverkusen are ‘determined’ to keep hold of the German international this summer, according to Stefan Bienkowski.

A move right now would be ‘very difficult’ and the Bundesliga side are expecting to receive over €100 million when they do eventually sell the player.

Manchester City have also been linked with fellow Bundesliga midfielder Dani Olmo, although RB Leipzig similarly expect to keep hold of the player this summer, despite interest from the Premier League and European champions.

Maximo Perrone is still set to be allowed to leave the club on loan despite the club’s current injury crisis, although James McAtee’s future could be decided by Manchester City’s business during the remaining days of the window.

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