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Manchester City: Txiki eyeing ambitious Bukayo Saka swap

Manchester City are reportedly keen on signing Arsenal‘s Bukayo Saka this year, and Txiki Begiristain could be about to pull off an ambitious swap deal with the Gunners.

What’s the word?

In a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT, transfer insider Dean Jones gave his lowdown on the Premier League champions’ interest in Saka, suggesting that Jack Grealish could even head in the opposite direction as a part of any potential deal.

Jones said: “Grealish is working hard to make sure this £100million City move works out – but it’s worth being aware that the club have a constant eye out for ways to keep evolving.

“Rafael Leao is a player they like but so too is Bukayo Saka. Neither are attainable in this moment but that may change later in the year, depending on contract talks.

“One idea being mooted is that Grealish could even end up going in the opposite direction to either of those players.”

Saka’s contract at the Emirates Stadium is set to expire at the end of next season, and unless Mikel Arteta can tie him down to a new deal before then, it is possible that the Gunners could be forced to cash in on one of their star players this year.

Txiki’s best deal yet?

There is no doubt that Grealish is yet to consistently show that he has been worth his transfer fee of £100m in a City shirt, boasting just seven goals and seven assists in 59 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, Saka has contributed seven goals and six assists this season alone, with WhoScored awarding him a superb 7.37 rating for his performances in the Premier League.

Still just 21, the Arsenal academy graduate possesses a huge amount of experience at the top level, having starred for the Three Lions at the European Championship and World Cup in recent years and making almost 180 senior appearances between club and country.

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It is a testament to his mental strength that he has gotten better after missing the crucial penalty in the Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy 18 months ago, with Arteta full of praise for the Englishman after his excellent start to the 2021/22 campaign following that miss.

The Arsenal boss said of Saka: “That was a big boost for him, to realise: ‘in difficult moments, these people are really going to give me support’ and the club did the same as his team-mates. Then it is about giving him that space. At his age what he is doing is phenomenal.”

Begiristain has completed some memorable transfers during his spell at Manchester City, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Ruben Dias all joining for what proved to be bargain deals. However, the prospect of swapping an expensive 27-year-old flop in Grealish for one of the world’s best young talents in Saka would surely be his best deal yet in Manchester.

If the Arsenal and England winger could continue his fine form with a move to Guardiola’s side, then he could easily be a mainstay for the next decade. Also, Grealish’s underwhelming start to life at the Etihad Stadium, as well as the fact that he is six years older than Saka, suggests that this would be an incredible swap deal for the Citizens to complete if they pull it off.