SPORT: City identify Zabaleta’s replacement in Italy and look to Germany for a left-back

TURIN, ITALY - APRIL 10:  Bruno Peres of Torino FC celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between Torino FC and Atalanta BC at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on April 10, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Of all the positions rumoured to be undergoing changes at Manchester City this summer, the two full-back spots have seen very few solid links. Today’s edition of SPORT changes that with some new names reported.

The Catalan newspaper believes Guardiola wants new players for basically every position, from goalkeeper to striker, but focus on the full-back spots. They linked City to Šime Vrsaljko some time back, but nothing came of that and the Sassuolo right-back is now heading to Atlético Madrid.

The newest right-back named by SPORT as being on City’s radar is Torino’s Bruno Peres, a 26-year-old who has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs in recent months, including Bayern Munich and PSG. Several top Italian teams are also interested in the Brazilian. A very attack-minded full-back, Peres has the ideal sort of profile for a Pep Guardiola team, and would seem a realistic target should Zabaleta leave.

SPORT claim that Peres’ starting price would be a shade under £10 million, not much at all for a club with City’s resources. Competition from other clubs could drive the price up, but not out of City’s reach.

Price is an issue, however, with the player City have looked at for the left-back spot, the same source reports. Wolfsburg and Switzerland star Ricardo Rodríguez is a well-known left-back, who has been linked with major clubs for the past few years, but has yet to move. Not long ago, it was reported that Arsenal were on the verge of signing him, but nothing has come of that so far this summer.

According to SPORT, Rodríguez is the player City have been looking at to replace either Kolarov or Clichy on the left, but have found Wolfsburg’s asking price to be unreasonable. The report claims that talks have taken place but have stalled over the 23-year-old’s fee, and though City want to strengthen the squad, are unwilling to overpay. Because of that, this will be a difficult deal and City could look at other targets.

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