Guardiola contacts former Liverpool star to get approval for first Man City signing of 2023

Man City manager Pep Guardiola Credit: Alamy
Man City manager Pep Guardiola Credit: Alamy

Manchester City are closing in on their first January signing after Fabrizio Romano revealed that Pep Guardiola has received a reference from a former Liverpool star.

Currently second in the Premier League table behind Arsenal, the defending champions will be keen to make use of the January transfer window to find the right players who can help them cut the gap.

January isn’t always the busiest month for the biggest clubs, who already have settled squads. But City have been working on one signing in particular in recent weeks.

Guardiola’s side have been on the trail of Velez Sarsfield starlet, Maximo Perrone. The midfielder was also on the radar of Newcastle, but City seem to have pulled into pole position.

On New Year’s Eve, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed there was a “verbal agreement” for Perrone to join City. The deal could be worth a transfer fee in the region of £6.6million.

Now, the reporter has provided an update, confirming the deal is “almost done”.

Romano tweeted on Sunday: “Manchester City will complete Maximo Perrone deal in the next days — as all parties are working to get documents sealed.

“It’s almost done, as already called in December.

“Understand Pep Guardiola spoke to Argentina U20 coach [Javier] Mascherano about Perrone and his potential.”

Man City investing in Maximo Perrone potential

Former Liverpool midfielder Mascherano, of course, used to play under Guardiola himself at Barcelona, and has now been seeing Perrone’s potential first hand.

Mascherano gave him his Argentina under-2o debut back in March, which remains his only international appearance at that age group.

Perrone, who has just turned 20, has already made 33 appearances at first-team level for Velez Sarsfield.

Romano has previously reported that City have a first-team role in mind for him, and will not be loaning him out to one of their sister clubs.

As a defensive midfielder, he will represent competition for the likes of Rodri and Kalvin Phillips. At his age, though, there is no need for expectations to be too high just yet.

Still, City want to ensure they have a strong squad for the present and the future. Therefore, taking control of the next stage of Perrone’s development could be a smart move if he flourishes into a top talent.

Mascherano is someone Guardiola could trust as a player. With that in mind, he will value his opinion on players from the next generation.

Everything seems to indicate the general view of Perrone is a positive one. Hence, City could be getting themselves an exciting new player to work with over the long term.

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