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Could Manchester City and Real Madrid battle it out for a AC Milan left-back?

Could Manchester City and Real Madrid battle it out for a AC Milan left-back?

Manchester City had long been in the market for a quality left-back. The arrival of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig last summer saw the Croatian international make the position his own. But heading into the summer the champions have been linked with AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez. A new report indicates if they were to make a move for the French international they would face competition from Real Madrid. But is it a realistic possibility this summer? That seems to be a different proposition entirely.

A report from Il Giornale which was relayed by Milan News indicates that Manchester City and Real Madrid are contemplating a move for Theo Hernandez. Furthermore, it is further reported that AC Milan has been unable to agree on a new contract with the French international. This stalemate has potentially opened the door for Manchester City and Real Madrid to swoop according to Il Giornale’s report.

The idea of Theo Hernandez signing for City is exciting but is it a necessary move?

There is no doubt that Theo Hernandez is one of the premier left-backs in European football. During his spell with AC Milan, he has shown just how good he has become. Since arriving at the Italian giants from Real Madrid he has firmly established himself as one of Milan’s best attacking weapons while also being a quality defender at left-back. The quality of Theo Hernandez is clear to see. He would add immense value to any club he could potentially sign for. If he were to arrive at the Etihad he’d provide a quality option for Pep Guardiola. But is he a player that Manchester City need? On closer inspection, he may not be.

Josko Gvardiol made the left-back role his own during the 23/24 season. After a slow start to his Manchester City career, he grew into the role and by season’s end he was arguably the best left-back in the Premier League. Heading into next season there is no doubt that Gvardiol has the talent and potential to take his game to another level at left-back. With Nathan Ake also capable of playing the position City appears covered at left-back. A player such as Theo Hernandez is unlikely to settle for being a backup to Gvardiol. While he is a different type of player to the Croatian international, Hernandez is an established top-quality left-back in his own right. Given the scope of improvement from Gvardiol and how well he played at left-back this season, it’s hard to see Manchester City signing a top-quality left-back this summer.

Theo Hernandez to Manchester City may be a move that

That situation of course could change. Josko Gvardiol may play a different role next season. There could also be other factors such as injury, departures or a drop off in form that decide if City move for a left-back this summer. That all remains to be seen given that the transfer window is yet to open.

But as good as Theo Hernandez is it does appear that Manchester City have other priorities this summer. The situation could change but for now, it doesn’t appear a likely move closer inspection.