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Manchester City 'hold talks over Wolves defender amid Liverpool competition'

Man City 'hold talks over Wolves defender amid Liverpool competition'
© Reuters
Manchester City allegedly hold talks over Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Rayan Ait-Nouri amid potential competition from Liverpool.

Manchester City have reportedly stepped up their interest in signing Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Rayan Ait-Nouri.

Although the left-sided player has always been highly-regarded at Molineux, he did not always command a place in the team under previous manager Julen Lopetegui.

However, the arrival of Gary O'Neil has changed things for the better, with the Algeria international now an integral part of a generally-attractive 3-4-3 formation.

While Ait-Nouri has just two goals and one assist to his name in the Premier League, the 22-year-old's overall performances have only enhanced his reputation.

Wolves find themselves in an unusual situation with regards to Ait-Nouri courtesy of former club Angers possessing a 50% sell-on clause.

The West Midlands outfit are said to hold the option of buying out that clause, and developments are expected in the summer courtesy of the player having just over two years remaining on his contract.

Rayan Ait-Nouri celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers against Burnley on April 2, 2024.© Reuters

Man City monitoring the situation

According to FootballTransfers, Man City have already held discussions with Wolves regarding a potential deal for the player.

The report suggests that City would be prepared to include Sergio Gomez in any proposal for Ait-Nouri, although it is unclear whether Wolves would be prepared to entertain that option.

Wolves are said to value Ait-Nouri in the region of €70m (£59.8m), a stance no doubt influenced by the situation involving Angers.

Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Ait-Nouri at a time when it is unclear who will replace Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season.

As it stands, the Merseyside giants are already well-stocked for options at left-back, with Kostas Tsimikas providing backup to Andrew Robertson and the likes of Joe Gomez and Owen Beck both alternatives.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on April 3, 2024© Reuters

Is a transfer to Man City realistic?

Man City are no strangers to doing business with Wolves. Last summer, Matheus Nunes left Molineux for the Etihad Stadium with Tommy Doyle moving in the opposite direction on loan. That deal is expected to become permanent in the summer.

The situation involving Ait-Nouri is a little different; Pep Guardiola already has Josko Gvardiol, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji and Rico Lewis who can all play at left-back if required.

A move for Ait-Nouri, and for that amount of money, only makes sense if Guardiola is going to use a back three on a regular basis. Ait-Nouri is far more suited to playing at wing-back than full-back.

City may also have to be realistic over their valuation for Gomez. Across 14 appearances this season, the former Spain Under-21 international has featured for just 434 minutes, making just three starts.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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