Manchester City Transfer News: Guardiola identifies potential Kompany replacement
What's the rumour?
According to reports, Premier League champions Manchester City have zeroed in on Cruzeiro centre-back and Brazil under-23 international Murilo Cerqueira as a potential replacement for stalwart Vincent Kompany.
Captain and fan favourite Kompany, 33, announced last month that he will join boyhood club Anderlecht in a player-manager role on a three-year deal this summer, after spending 11 seasons at the Ethiad Stadium.
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Kompany was the bedrock on which Pep Guardiola built the City side who completed a historic domestic treble this past season, winning the Premier League, EFL Cup and clinching the FA Cup trophy too - an unprecedented feat in England.
Murillo has made 36 senior appearances for Cruzeiro over the last three Brasilerao seasons and naturally caught the attention of Europe's top clubs recently, as his superb performances at the ongoing Toulon Tournament in France with Brazil have not gone unnoticed.
Marshalling a Selecao backline that are yet to concede this tournament, Murilo was integral to their dominant 4-0, 4-0 and 5-0 victories in the group stages against Guatemala, France and Qatar respectively.
The heart of the matter
As reported by MEN, City lead the race among a host of European clubs interested in signing the talented 22-year-old. Valued at £30m - Bundesliga champions Bayern, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco are the other sides rumoured to be in the hunt for the prodigious youngster, blessed with an impressive turn of pace and good physicality, standing at six feet two inches.
With doubts looming over the long-time future of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala at Eastlands, Guardiola is expected to invest in a younger alternative to reinforce his available centre-back pairing of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones - both of whom are 25-years-old.
Murilo and the rest of his Brazil teammates are set to take on the Republic of Ireland in the Toulon Tournament semi-finals today. Guardiola's City side will return for pre-season action on July 17, where they will play against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing, China.