Bayern Munich’s Musiala emerges as top target for Guardiola at Manchester City

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jamal Musiala;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jamal Musiala</a> has made 161 appearances for <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Bayern;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Bayern</a> Munich.</span><span>Photograph: Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock</span>

Manchester City are planning a big push to sign Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala this summer. Pep Guardiola wants more options in attacking midfield and Musiala is emerging as his top target.

Bayern will not want to lose the Germany international, who has two years on his deal, and could ward off suitors by demanding a huge fee. The 21-year-old, who can play in a variety of positions in attack, has made impressive strides since leaving Chelsea five years ago and is a key player for the Bundesliga side.

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This is set to be a big summer for Bayern, whose run of 11 consecutive league titles was ended by Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. Thomas Tuchel will depart as head coach and the squad needs strengthening. Tuchel’s replacement has not been decided.

Part of the challenge for Bayern could be convincing Musiala about their level of ambition. They still have hope of rescuing their campaign after knocking Arsenal out of the Champions League. Bayern, who have not reached the final since winning the Champions League in 2020, will face Real Madrid in the last four.

Any indications of Musiala leaning towards wanting a new challenge would grab the attention of leading clubs. City’s interest is advanced and Chelsea are monitoring the situation. Musiala, who opted to play for Germany instead of England, came through Chelsea’s academy but his departure was partly down to concerns over a lack of opportunities.

City are at the front of the queue. Guardiola is not short of attacking midfielders but the normal fluency in the final third was not on display when his side lost on penalties to Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final.

There is an argument that City have not quite replaced the goals and incision of Ilkay Gündogan and Riyad Mahrez since last summer. Phil Foden has had a productive season and Kevin De Bruyne remains crucial but injuries have stopped Jack Grealish from being as influential as he was last season and Julián Álvarez has been inconsistent.

Questions have also been raised over the sale of Cole Palmer, who has scored 23 times since joining Chelsea. Jérémy Doku has been exciting but raw since joining from Rennes. Matheus Nunes, a summer signing from Wolves, was an unused substitute against Madrid. Sources with knowledge of the Palmer deal believe the 21-year-old needed to leave City because he is a free spirit and was not seen by Guardiola as the right profile for the team’s structure.

City’s targets away from Musiala include West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá and Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze. Any move for Paquetá depends on the Football Association dropping its investigation into alleged betting breaches by the Brazil midfielder, who denies wrongdoing.

City were interested in Eze last summer but the midfielder has had a frustrating time with injuries this season and is rebuilding his sharpness. Scoring Palace’s winner against Liverpool last weekend was a positive sign. City are also monitoring Eze’s teammate Michael Olise.