Manchester City are reportedly eyeing a move for RB Leipzig midfielder Dani Olmo, as Pep Guardiola seeks replacements for Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian has been ruled out for the foreseeable future after undergoing surgery to repair a hamstring injury.
Renowned journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has named Olmo as a potential target for the treble winners, claiming that the 25-year-old is a player that is ‘admired’ by the manager.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) August 16, 2023
The interest comes following the change in direction in City’s chase for Lucas Paqueta, which is looking unlikely after a failed bid and the Brazilian’s off-field woes regarding betting allegations. West Ham reportedly rejected a bid in the region of £87m for their midfielder, a fee higher than that reported to be wanted by Leipzig for Olmo, who is speculated to be valued around £68m.
It’s clear to see why the Sky Blues are eyeing the Spaniard, who started the season by netting a hat trick against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup, as well as scoring in the club’s opening Bundesliga fixture.
While the rumours remain a thing of speculation, the versatile attacker was quick to comment on the links to Guardiola’s side, claiming that there is “nothing” concrete regarding the deal.
Speaking to German news outlet BILD over the weekend, Olmo said:
“There is nothing! I’m fully focused on the task in Leipzig, the Bundesliga, the UCL and the cup. Man City are a big club – one of the biggest in the world. Josko [Gvardiol] went there. But I’m happy here.”
The 25-year-old saw former teammate Josko Gvardiol make the move to Manchester this summer, however the narrative remains that the Spaniard is fully committed to the German club, whom he signed a new contract with in June. Despite other reports placing a price tag of £68m on the Spain international, the actual fee could be far higher than this, considering that the dynamic midfielder recently penned the new deal that extended his stay until 2027.
Another name has been circulating as a potential target for City, with Rennes sensation Jeremy Doku also being linked, with a price said to be around £45m for the 21-year-old. Olmo is theoretically the safer option with reference to a replacement for De Bruyne, with the Spaniard being a more experienced playmaker than the rising talent of Doku, however the issue remains as to whether the Leipzig jewel would be open to making the move.
After bidding farewell to Ilkay Gundogan earlier in the summer, paired with losing the Belgian to injury so early into the season, Guardiola is without a host of creativity in his midfield, that he became so accustomed to last campaign.
It’s expected that the Citizens will delve back into the window to paper over the cracks formed by De Bruyne’s absence, however which target the club will choose to fight for remains a mystery, with three glowing talents rumoured to be eyed.
Following Olmo’s glowing display against Bayern Munich, the Spaniard could be a statement signing for the treble winners, should he opt to part ways with Leipzig.