Manchester City are reportedly considering Bayer Leverkusen attacker Florian Wirtz as a replacement for Riyad Mahrez.
That’s according to FootballTransfers.com, who have reported that City are weighing up a move for the German youngster.
Last week City sold Mahrez to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli for £30m, bringing an end to the winger’s five-year stint at the club.
With the future of wantaway star Bernardo Silva uncertain amid interest from Barcelona, Pep Guardiola could be left with a dearth of right-wing options.
The treble winners are therefore sounding out potential recruits that they could sign before the end of the summer window.
City keen on Wirtz
Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise and Stade Rennais youngster Jeremy Doku have been linked with City in the past week, but it appears that they also have an interest in Wirtz.
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On Friday FootballTransfers.com reported City’s interest in the 20-year-old Germany international, but conceded that a move to sign him might not be straightforward.
“We are told that the German player is on the list of targets for the Citizens, and Pep Guardiola is a huge admirer of the youngster’s technical ability and potential,” the report said.
“Bayer Leverkusen have already sold Moussa Diaby during this window, while Edmond Tapsoba appears to be heading for a move to Tottenham. The futures of Jonathan Tah and Jeremie Frimpong also remain uncertain. As a result, the price for Wirtz could be significantly inflated, making it challenging for the Premier League club to acquire him.
However, Wirtz’ openness to a transfer could help City’s cause.
“We have been informed that Wirtz is open to a move, and Bayer are willing to sell any player if the right price is offered.”
Wirtz is one of the most exciting young talents in European football; two years ago he was tipped to become the best German player ever, ‘even better than Kai Havertz‘.
His development hit the brakes in March 2022 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). As a result, his value decreased, meaning City might be able to strike a reasonable deal.
However, he was named the 2022/23 Europa League Young Player of the Season as Leverkusen reached the semi-final stage.