An interesting update has emerged in Manchester City’s pursuit of Nuno Mendes, one that could lead to Benjamin Mendy heading out of The Etihad.
According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, as transcribed by Sport Witness, Sporting have offered Manchester City the chance to sign Nuno Mendes for a discounted price if they allow the fullback to remain at the club for another 12 months.
The report claims that Sporting want to keep Mendes until the summer of 2022 and are prepared to lower their valuation of him in order to stop City from taking him immediately. City are said to have turned down the initial proposal, but they have not taken the idea completely off the table as they remain interested in finding an ideal solution as they attempt to land the left-back.
“He is strong physically and in his head. He has an excellent left foot and he has very good pace. Sometimes, I think he needs to learn more about defending, but he is only 18. He has so much time to improve.
“I don’t think he is going to stay here for a long time.”
City could wave bye-bye to Benjamin Mendy and complete a deal to sign Mendes as his replacement this summer. According to The Telegraph, Pep Guardiola is open to selling Mendy as the Frenchman has failed to kick on in a City shirt in recent seasons.
No clubs have been mentioned as of yet, but City could cash in on Mendy and then bring in Mendes as his replacement ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Mendy was restricted to 12 starts in the Premier League and Champions League in the season just gone, averaging a poor WhoScored rating of 6.63 in the former. This comes after he started 18 Premier League matches in the 2019/20 season, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.83. Not only have his performances been dipping over the last couple of years, but his track record of availability is notably shocking – with the 18 starts in 2019/20 being the most he has managed in his four years in England.
Therefore, Pep Guardiola could be buzzing with the addition of Mendes as it would allow him to replace Mendy and have a first-choice left-back, rather than him being forced to play Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko there. Cancelo is naturally a right-back and Zinchenko is a central midfielder by trade.
The £36m-rated defender, Mendes, enjoyed a sensational season with Sporting, averaging a WhoScored rating of 7.24 across 29 starts an 18-year-old. Whether it is this summer or next summer, City must sign Mendes from Sporting as he is a quality left-back option with plenty of potential, at the age of 18, and he could be the club’s first-choice in the position for many years to come.