Manchester City are the favorites in every competition they are in this season. After winning the treble last season and having the best squad in world football, there is no reason why Pep Guardiola’s team will be one of the protagonists this season. Regardless, Kevin De Bruyne’s recent injury will be an obstacle they are currently dealing with.
The Belgian midfielder has always been a key cog in the Guardiola machinery. He has been one of the best playmakers in Premier League history and was instrumental in City’s success last season, which is why his recent injury during their 2-1 victory over Burnley in the first fixture has been such bad news for the Citizens.
Considering that De Bruyne will be out of the pitches until at least January of 2024, City and Guardiola have already started looking for options in the transfer window. While finding a replacement for the Belgian was always going to be a tall order, the club is considering a short-term option.
In that regard, a name that was brought up earlier in this situation was West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta. The Brazilian had been one of the key players in David Moyes’ side and seemed like a very doable deal for all parties involved, but then it was revealed that the former AC Milan man had been involved with gambling, which torpedoed the whole transfer and now seems very unlikely that City move for him.
However, a name that has made a lot of noise recently has been that of Wolves’ Matheus Nunes. The Portuguese midfielder arrived in Wolverhampton in the summer of 2022 from Sporting Lisboa with a fee of 44 million euros and was one of the few saving graces that then-manager Julen Lopetegui’s team had during the 2022/23 season, even if his one goal and one assist are not the most impressive.
When Manchester City faced Sporting Lisboa in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 back in February of 2022, Guardiola was full of praise for Nunes, calling him “one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world”. Now it seems that Pep wants to make him a new City player; although Wolverhampton rejected their 55 million euros offer for their footballer, a new bid from City has been placed, and we need to wait to see what will happen.
Matheus Nunes already agreed personal terms with Manchester City last Friday and he doesn’t change his stance: he wants to join City 🔵🇵🇹 #MCFC
Negotiations between the two clubs continue after bid in excess of €60m. pic.twitter.com/Yz0EAy4eWt
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 28, 2023
Be that as it may, there is no denying that City and Guardiola want to find a replacement for De Bruyne. The loss of Ilkay Gundogan to FC Barcelona and the Belgian midfielder getting injured is a complicated situation that they want to fix in the coming weeks of the transfer window, although there aren’t a lot of possible players being mentioned, which is something worth taking into account.
As of this writing, Nunes is the most likely Kevin De Bruyne replacement, although that could change in the coming days.