Manchester City veteran midfielder Fernandinho has been tipped to bid farewell to his trophy-laden City career at the end of this season.
The 36-year-old’s one-year extension is going to end this June and it is highly unlikely that another extension will be granted by the defending champions, because of his age.
The Brazilian midfielder has won nine trophies is as many seasons at the Etihad, including three Premier Leagues, four League Cups, one FA Cup, and the Community shield.
With 273 appearances to his name, the 36-year-old is a fan favorite and one of the best in business at the heart of midfield.
The defensive midfielder role is very crucial in a 4-3-3 line up and Guardiola is left only with Rodri in the heart of the midfield. Reinforcing that aspect of the pitch in the summer is going to be very crucial for Guardiola and his men in the long run.
With that said, let’s discuss some of the potential long-term replacements for Fernandinho that Manchester City could target in the upcoming summer window.
Here we go!
1) DECLAN RICE
Declan Rice has established one of the best Premier League midfielders lately. The English international has been solid for West Ham United in the defensive midfield position, marshaling his troops in their quest for Champions League football.
The 23-year-old has been a key figure in the midfield for both his country and the club making the role of the defensive midfielder his own. The Englishman has netted the ball on 3 occasions and laid down 7 in the process in 30 appearances for the hammers, this season.
Rice has been tipped to make a big-money move away from WHU lately with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in pursuit of the English prodigy.
Even, the hammers are keen on letting their main man leave but not for a price less than €120 million.
Rice has been linked with a move to Manchester City with Guardiola said to be a fond admirer of the Englishman. His attacking prowess and defensive skillset are tailor-made to fit in the City lineup and the Etihad looks to be his likely destination at this point.
The defending champions though wouldn’t find it a straightforward deal with their cross-city rivals breathing down their neck for the WHU skipper. Manchester United are ready to splash whatever it takes to acquire Rice given the defensive midfielder role has always been their Achilles heel.
All in all, if the Skyblues do manage to touch down the 23-year-old, he would be an invaluable addition to Guardiola’s midfield given his natural ability to play as a double pivot. Declan Rice would certainly be a like-for-like replacement for Fernandinho and City certainly wouldn’t want such a golden opportunity to go begging.