Stoke’s Peter Crouch has already done the gag about ‘big English players’, following reports that Manchester City will try to boost their homegrown quota this summer by buying a top-draw native:
“@DeadlineDayLive: City boss Pellegrini says the club will invest in a “big player” in summer – & want him to be English”-I’m happy at scfc
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) April 6, 2015
Parking the hilarity for a moment, the story does have some substance, as Etihad chief Manuel Pellegrini recently insisted that City’s Financial Fair Play sanctions will be lifted this summer, with the Chilean tactician also suggesting his squad does need English players.
Whether he’ll be in charge when the signings are made is certainly in question, but we can assume the days of City taking chances on unproven youngsters, as they did with Jack Rodwell in 2012, are over.
With that in mind, the soon-to-be-deposed Premier League champions are fishing in a pretty shallow pond. Here are five Englishman who might be considered worthy, but there aren’t too many more about:
Can’t get into Arsenal’s side at the moment, but the former Southampton youth’s electric pace would be welcome at any club, with Liverpool and Chelsea among the outfits thought to be monitoring the winger’s situation.
Walcott’s current Gunners contract is set to run out at the end of next season, so he wouldn’t be terribly expensive, but would want a fortune in wages.
Quite why City would be willing to pay £30m for a player who has started less than 100 Premier League games over the past seven seasons is anybody’s guess, but reports suggested as much last month.
There’s no doubt Pellegrini’s side needs freshening up in midfield, with Yaya Toure always a perceived slight away from taking his ball home, and neither Fernando nor Fernandinho exactly pulling up trees, but a move for Wilshere would be a tad strange.
This seems much more likely, as Liverpool’s captain-elect hasn’t yet signed a new deal, despite his contract running out in less than 18 months.
The latest reports suggest Henderson wants £100,000 per week at Anfield, but he’d certainly get more with City.
After the burly central-midfielder/number ten/who knows signed a new contract with Everton last summer, worth £65,000 per week, it’s all gone quiet on the Barkley rumour front, but his head would surely be turned by a concrete offer from a bigger club.
The 21-year-old hasn’t exactly set the Premier League alight so far in his career, with just eight goals in 69 appearances, but City are thought to be in for the Toffeeman nonetheless, with the Manchester Evening News reporting the rumour for the umpteenth time over the weekend.
It seems there’s a better than 50-50 chance that the former QPR youth will leave Liverpool after his unsanctioned BBC interview, and although Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munchen have been mooted as possible suitors, Sterling would probably prefer to stay in England at this stage of his career.
City, Arsenal and (unlikely as it sounds) Manchester United are all thought to be preparing bids for the 20-year-old.