Manchester City’s academy has made the headlines for all the right reasons in recent times, especially due to the incredible rise of Phil Foden as one of Europe’s standout young players.
This season, Cole Palmer has emerged as the next academy graduate in line to become a first-team regular, registering goals in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup, while also making his first Premier League start against Everton and cementing his place in Pep Guardiola’s matchday squads.
This time around, it is James McAtee that has made the news, as per a report by the Athletic’s Sam Lee, who states that the 19-year old is ‘intent’ on playing at the ‘highest level’ for both club and country.
It is stated that ‘countless’ loan proposals were made to City in the summer to sign McAtee, but Etihad officials ‘rejected’ every one. Instead, there is a belief within that club that the youngster would be ‘better off’ training at his boyhood club.
In addition, the Salford-born talent has generated interest amongst clubs in England, Spain and the Netherlands to sign him on a ‘permanent basis’. Earlier this year, Brighton were reportedly keen on McAtee’s signature, but their ‘approach’ was ‘knocked back’ by City.
It is highlighted that before James McAtee signs a contract with the club, a ‘pathway’ to the first-team must be ‘established’ - such as a possible loan for the second half of the current season before returning to the Etihad in the summer. The Athletic report that McAtee is seen as having ‘outgrown’ youth football and City may need to find a solution to ‘accommodate’ his need for ‘senior game time’.
Only time will tell what the future holds for James McAtee, but progress over a renewal of his Etihad deal will go a long way in terms of revealing what the player himself feels is best for his career.
At present, there has been very little in the way of public developments on a contract renewal, but with the turn of the year just days away, it can be expected that McAtee is one of several high priority names to be revisited for talks.
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