With both Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani reportedly on their way to rivals Manchester United, City have missed out.
In my view, Manchester City made a mistake earlier this window by allowing Thiago Alcântara to leave Bayern Munich for Liverpool on a cheap fee with little resistance. Now, with clear and obvious needs at both left-back and striker, City have let two top options go to another, more local rival: Manchester United.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Porto left-back Alex Telles will join the Red Devils for just over an initial £13 million following reports that he was offered to City. In addition, Edinson Cavani, whom I believe City should have signed, will also join United as a free agent.
With such huge early season problems for City at both positions, getting two players of this caliber on the cheap would have been brilliant pieces of business. Although I believe João Cancelo is a top footballer and will thrive with a full season at left-back, bringing in another option as good as Telles could not have hurt. In addition, a Cavani signing could have gone even beyond the current injury crisis and really pushed Gabriel Jesus to perform at his highest possible level while giving City a physical presence.
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Efficiency in the transfer market has never been City’s top priority. Especially under Pep Guardiola, they are looking for a certain mold of player, and although they will not sign established superstars or anyone over about £70 million, they will sign huge quantities of top young players.
City have been linked far more regularly with Ajax’s Nicolás Tagliafico to solve their fullback issues, I do not believe that there is enough time to get a deal done, and he is older and more expensive than Telles.
Therefore, for the third time this window, I believe City have missed out on a real chance to get some cheap and effective business done while top players go to rivals on the cheap. I find both of these less egregious than the Thiago situation, but City have needs if they hope to patch the holes that have shown themselves so far this season, and will need to address them after the upcoming international break.