The transfer window may have only just closed but Manchester City are being linked with an £80 million double-swoop for Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Palace sensation Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Pep Guardiola is said to have been hugely impressed with the pair over the last 12 months and sees them both as ideal pieces in the Manchester City puzzle, should their current employers be open to negotiation over a possible sale once the season draws to a close.
With Chilwell occupying the left-hand side and Wan-Bissaka the right, Guardiola would have tied down the long-term first-choice options on both sides of defence in a single window if the deals came off but in reality, it will prove hugely difficult for the title chasers to secure one, let alone both of their apparent transfer targets.
The move for Chilwell is seen as potentially costing City £50 million given Chilwell’s fine form and new deal at The King Power Stadium, with Wan-Bissaka valued at just £30 million; a figure that I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, feels extremely small given the academy graduate’s potential.
Since making his debut last term, there’s no denying the fact that defensively, Wan-Bissaka has been the best performing right-back in the league ahead of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and City’s own Kyle Walker. Given the fee the latter commanded when leaving Tottenham for The Etihad, alongside Wan-Bissaka’s age and clear room for growth, I simply can’t see Palace entertaining offers of anything less than £50 million at this stage.
Aaron too has only recently signed a new deal in SE25 and when you factor in the help he would give City in fulfilling their homegrown player quota, it stands to reason that Palace would hold out for far more than the few currently being quoted. Is it likely that a journalist from The Sun has plucked a figure out of thin air? I would say so. Either way, if City are serious about signing Aaron, they’ll need to stump up nearly double to avoid being laughed out of the room.