We’re firmly in the grips of the summer transfer window, and as ever, business at one of Europe’s footballing giants is likely to have a knock-on impact at various other heavyweights.
Over the coming months, we’re likely to see Manchester City’s major overhaul continue as Pep Guardiola builds the Citizens’ squad in his own image, and transfer business at the Etihad Stadium could also influence Kwadwo Asamoah’s future in Turin.
While there were some encouraging signs for Guardiola during his maiden campaign in England, there were various problems in his starting XI that the ex-Barcelona man failed to address.
Both full-back positions were areas of concern throughout the season, and Guardiola has already taken major steps to address this since the campaign concluded.
Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna have all departed as their contracts have come to an end, while wideman Jesus Navas—who deputised at right wing-back this term—has also been axed.
While their departures leave Guardiola with a significant wage budget to play with, it also leaves City short at the back, with Aleksandar Kolarov the only recognised full-back—and I use that term lightly—still at the club.
A tantalising procession of players have been linked to the club, with Tottenham Hotspur duo Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, as well as Benjamin Mendy of AS Monaco among the names rumoured to be under consideration by Guardiola.
On Tuesday, Goal also revealed that Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand is another player being monitored by City, with the England international now emerging as a viable option as the French champions refuse to lower their demands on Mendy.
The former Chelsea full-back would likely be a much cheaper option for the Sky Blues, and he also has the advantage of being a tried-and-tested Premier League competitor.
With Bertrand now on City’s radar, and being tipped for a move north, more credence can be given to rumours earlier in the month linking Ghana’s Asamoah with a switch to St. Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton are one of three clubs—the others being West Ham United and Galatasaray—who have been linked to the midfielder’s signature, and expect the transfer talk to intensify after reports in the Italian press on Monday that the Champions League runner-up had handed in a transfer request.
The Turkish Super Lig has long been a happy hunting ground for African talent, and it’s not hard to see Asamoah being seduced by the prospect of joining a giant like Gala and all that that entails.
While the prospect of Asabob being reunited with Black Stars teammate Andre Ayew at the London Stadium is also appealing, it could be that Soton are in the most desperate need for a left-back.
In East London, Franco-Congolese wideman Arthur Masuaku has largely impressed for the Irons, while another Frenchman, Lionel Carole, has been one of Gala’s more consistent performers in Turkey this season.
However, should the Saints lose Bertrand to City, a prospect made all the more likely by City’s increasing interest, then they would be in grave need of a new man to step into the left side of their defence.
At 28, Asamoah is a little older than some of the players typically signed, improved and sold on by the south-coast club, but he’d be an excellent addition for Claude Puel’s side and would certainly help to fill the void left by Bertrand’s departure.