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Manchester City give green light to Kyle Walker replacement for 2024/25 season

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Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have reportedly given the green light to welcoming Brazil international right-back Yan Couto into their first-team set-up from next season.

The former Coritiba wonder-kid is currently plying his trade in La Liga with high-flying City Football Group side Girona, contributing one goal and seven assists to his club’s Spanish top-flight exploits across 21 appearances so far this season.

Having joined Manchester City in the summer of 2020, following intense speculation over interest from FC Barcelona, Couto went on loan to Girona for the campaign before following that move with a deal to join Portuguese side SC Braga in 2021/22.

A lacklustre outing in Portugal then saw City place Couto back at Girona while the Etihad club would go on to win the Treble, extending that agreement by a further year during the most recent summer transfer window.

Now it is claimed that Manchester City have seen enough from the recently-crowned Brazil international to suggest that he could play a big role in Pep Guardiola’s squad from the start of next season.

That is according to the information of the Daily Star’s Harry Pratt, who claims that Manchester City will welcome Yan Couto into their first-team squad next season, and hand the 21-year-old right-back a new and improved contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Amid reports of interest from across Europe, and particularly from Real Madrid, it is detailed that Manchester City have no intention of selling Couto, and will look to negotiate an improved, long-term deal alongside his promotion into the first-team this summer.

With mainstay right-back Kyle Walker firmly into the twilight years of his career, the report states that Manchester City believe in Yan Couto they already possess a ‘natural successor’ to the England international with ‘world class potential’.

Alternative options for Manchester City in the right-back position have been few and far between in media reports over the last few weeks and months, with one suggestion claiming that the Premier League champions could return for one of their former employees.

That concerns Tottenham’s Spanish right-back star Pedro Porro, whom City held on their books after signing the player from Girona before sending him on hugely successful loan spells to Portuguese giants Sporting CP.

Negotiations with Spurs would likely be hugely challenging given the excellent performances of the player in north London, and a transfer fee could exceed the £50 million paid by the club for Kyle Walker in 2017.

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