Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly made Spain international Thiago Alcantara a top priority this summer.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly made Spain international Thiago Alcantara a top priority this summer, and is targeting the intelligent midfielder to offer an alternative to 32-year-old David Silva next season.
Thiago was initially signed by Guardiola for Bayern Munich in 2013, and since then has established himself among the world's best midfielders. He is under contract at Bayern until 2021, but having only started ten league games for the German club this year, may be tempted away by a promise of more game time.
Guardiola hinted, via the Daily Mail, recently that City will need a big squad to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool again next season, adding that Silva may not be able to play every week because of his advancing years.
He said: "Next season, David (Silva) maybe will not play every game."
But Manchester City's current squad also features aging stars Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, who are both also in their 30s. Toure's contract is set to expire in the summer, leaving a place open for a new recruit.
Guardiola is not interested in adding more than three players to his Manchester City squad this summer, requesting quality over quantity, however. But the club will be restricted by Premier League rules that allow a maximum of 17 senior overseas players in any squad.
The Sky Blues already have 14, and Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko are soon to pass the age barrier meaning they will be counted in next season's total. Eliaquim Mangala is also set to return from a loan spell at Everton in the summer, though it is expected that he will be sold.
Toure's exit will free up one place in the squad, but the restrictions mean City may have to look at homegrown talent.
They are reportedly currently monitoring Wilfried Zaha, of Crystal Palace, to see if the Ivorian is capable of making the step up the Manchester City's level.