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Sporting director reveals only Manchester City have the ‘closest’ to an ‘impossible’ first-team star to replace



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Manchester City is home to Barcelona’s closest possible option to a Sergio Busquets replacement, according to the La Liga giants’ sporting director.

Barcelona, who have completed numerous signings from Manchester City and failed with a number of recent attempts to sign Bernardo Silva, reportedly also admire Rodri.

The 27-year-old scored the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League Final last season, and has already scored six goals during the current campaign.

The Spaniard swapped La Liga for the Premier League in 2019, and has become an integral member of Pep Guardiola’s squad, starting the majority of matches for Manchester City.

Rodri featured in 56 matches last season and is unbeaten in over a year, with the Blues’ last four defeats all coming in the absence of the midfielder.

The midfield star is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2027, and although any transfer interest would be immediately rebuffed, Barcelona believe that he could be a potential replacement for a current veteran midfielder.

Speaking to Esport3 in a new interview, as translated and relayed by Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona’s sporting director has openly admitted to Manchester City holding the ‘closest’ possible replacement to Sergio Busquets.

“It’s almost impossible to replace (Sergio) Busquets,” Deco explained.

“Rodri is the closest but (Manchester) City would never sell him to any club!”

Deco continued by discussing other potential names, including reported Manchester City target and current Bayern Munich and Germany international midfielder, Joshua Kimmich.

“(Joshua) Kimmich is another top player… but it’s also not easy to sign him,” Barcelona’s director continued. “Look at how much Chelsea paid for (Moises) Caicedo, it’s not easy at all.”

Manchester City have been heavily linked with a potential move for Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich, with the 28-year-old set to be targeted by Pep Guardiola’s side next summer, as the Catalan looks to further boost his midfield.

Kimmich had even been mooted as a potential January transfer target, after falling out of favour with Thomas Tuchel at the Allianz Arena.