Manchester City have not had a lot of news surrounding their summer transfer activities, however, one thing is certain: the Premier League leaders will be in the hunt for a striker.
They are currently one of the teams in the running to sign 21-year-old Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. However, they have signed River Plate’s Julian Alvarez, who is currently playing at the Argentine club on loan for the rest of the season and will join up with them in the summer.
Tottenham Hotspur‘s Harry Kane is still being linked with a move away from the Tottenham Hotspur stadium to the Etihad, and of recent, Inter Milan’s Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez has popped up as a target for City.
According to The Sun, Manchester City will be given the green light to sign the Argentine striker if Inter Milan can convince Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram to sign for them.
Martinez signed for Inter from Argentine club Racing Club de Avellaneda in 2018. In that time, he has been the target of Barcelona and several other European clubs after establishing himself as one of Europe’s best young strikers.
‘El Toro’ as he is fondly called, has struck 61 times in 127 times for the Nerazzurri and has provided 22 assists for his teammates.
According to reports, Guardiola feels he will be the ideal long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero who departed the Etihad at the end of last season for Barcelona, but unfortunately had to retire due to heart complications.
With 22-year-old Alvarez and 24-year-old Martinez in City’s ranks, Guardiola is confident of having a strikeforce who can carry City into the new era.
Martinez signed a new deal at the club in October 2021. However, they are open to allowing the player to leave the club in order to cash in on his value before his new four-year contract runs up.
Meanwhile, Martinez’s proposed replacement, Marcus Thuram, son of French legend Lilian Thuram, has struggled at Borussia Monchengladbach this season.
The striker has scored just once in 16 League games. However, Inter is convinced that he is the right man to lead their attack next campaign.
Elsewhere, City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko has thanked fans of City and the rest of the Premier League for the support that he and other Ukrainian players based in England have received over Russia’s invasion of their home country.
Last Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. A lot of facets of Ukrainian life have come to a halt with over a million refugees currently trying to adapt to life outside Ukraine after having been forced from their homes due to Russia’s invasion.
Zinchenko spoke with BBC’s Football Focus, recalling the moment his wife, who was in Ukraine at the time, told him about the attacks by the Russian forces.
“I was in shock. She showed me the videos, the pictures, what’s going on now in Ukraine,” Zinchenko said.
“I’m just crying. So (it’s) already a week, I’m not counting, but even I can drive the car from the training ground, or it doesn’t matter where, I can just cry from nothing.
“It’s everything in my head. Imagine the place where you was born, where you was growing up. And there is just empty ground.”
He went on to thank the fans of Manchester City as well as fans of other clubs who have been showing a lot of support for the plight of Ukrainians.
“I’m so grateful,” he added. “I’m so grateful to all these people for the support I’m getting here. I didn’t realise it’s going to be like that in this way. So I would like to say all of them ‘big thanks’. I appreciate it.”
Many Ukrainians have armed themselves to defend their country while others who live abroad have returned home. Zinchenko’s family is now with him in England and he stated that he would have joined in the war efforts but for his family.
“I’ll be honest, if not for my daughter, my family, I would be there,” said Zinchenko.
“I’m just born like that. I know the people from my country, the mentality of them, and all of them, they think exactly the same.
“I’m so proud to be Ukrainian and I will be forever for the rest of my life. And when you’re watching the people, how they fight for their lives.
“I know the people, the mentality of my people from my country, they prefer to die and they will die. But they’re not going to give (up).”