Manchester City report: Champions in shock move for ex-Newcastle star

Manchester City are looking for a surprising star to replace Fernandinho.

Recently, the long-serving defensive midfielder and current Eastlands captain announced that he would return to his native Brazil when his current contract expires. Fernandinho joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013 and has made almost 400 appearances for the club.

The 36-year-old is now a squad player at City but has been a key man as Pep Guardiola’s sole ‘pivot’ for various titles and trophies.

FernandinhoManchester City

(Image credit: Pennsylvania)

Nevertheless, The confidential they claim Guardiola’s first-choice replacement for Fernandinho is former Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Merino. While few would have considered the Spaniard capable of anchoring a title-winning midfield during his time at Toon, he has flourished at Real Sociedad.

City’s No. 6 first choice these days, Rodri, is more of a passer and less of a defensive presence in the middle of the park for the Citizens. Merino is more of this type, having been compared to La Real legend Xabi Alonso.

Mikel Merino

(Image credit: Pennsylvania)

At 25, Merino is young enough to play Rodri’s backup with a view to succeeding him at some point, or be sold at a profit. The former Urraca could even become another position under Guardiola as well.

Merino is valued at £45m for Transfermarkt.

More Manchester City stories

In City’s search for a new striker, Erling Haaland is reported to have turned down a huge offer to take him to the Premier League.

Elsewhere, England right-backs Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been vocal about the state of the title race, with City and Liverpool going strong in the closing stages of the season.

Pep Guardiola has been talking recently about his ambition to win the Champions League with Man City, Liverpool’s weaknesses and the possibility of him leaving Eastlands to manage a team in the future.

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