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Reports: Manchester City interested in signing AC Milan's Ismael Bennacer

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 15:43 IST
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According to Corriere dello Sport, Manchester City are interested in signing AC Milan star Ismael Bennacer.

Bennacer has put in a string of impressive performances since joining AC Milan in 2019, which has attracted the attention of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for the 22-year-old midfielder's signature.

Manchester signed midfielder Rodrigo from Atletico Madrid in 2019 as a long-term replacement for the aging Fernandinho. The 24-year-old has shown glimpses of quality, but gets dribbled past too often, and gives away a lot of fouls.

Rodrigo has failed to fully adjust to the physical demands of the Premier League, which has forced Manchester City to consider adding another defensive midfielder to their ranks.

Bennacer has all the attributes that Manchester City are looking for in a defensive midfielder. The Algerian has made 48 appearances for AC Milan in all competitions since arriving from Empoli. Bennacer has completed 88/6% of his 333 passes, won 7/11 aerial duels, made 8/13 successful dribbles, and has averaged a tackle or interception every 26 minutes.

Manchester City looking to sign Ismael Bennacer from AC Milan to solve their defensive midfielder problems

AC Milan v AC Sparta Praha: Group H - UEFA Europa League
AC Milan v AC Sparta Praha: Group H - UEFA Europa League

Manchester City have had a shaky start to their 2020-21 Premier League campaign. Pep Guardiola's men were tipped as favorites to win the title this season, after Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk suffered a long term injury.

Manchester City have however, had to face an injury crisis of their own, and have failed to maintain consistency or find their rhythm this season. Guardiola is expected to dive into the winter transfer window to sign a striker and a defensive midfielder, to improve his squad's depth and strength.

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Manchester City have identified Ismael Bennacer as the player to solve their midfield problems, but the AC Milan man won't come cheap, with reports suggesting that the Italian club will demand €50 million for their star player.

Manchester City may have to sell or loan out some of their fringe players in order to finance a deal for Bennacer, and to create space in the squad for potential signings. John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been linked with moves away from Manchester City in recent weeks, and may be used as a makeweight to fund a deal for Bennacer.

Published 14 Nov 2020, 15:43 IST
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