Manchester City are prepared to tear up their summer transfer plans to sign young English talent from their Premier League rivals after deeming their targets too expensive to acquire.
Pep Guardiola had allegedly harboured ambitions of prising Tottenham trio Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker away from White Hart Lane, while plans were also said to be in place to land Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal.
However, the Daily Mail has now claimed that City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, has pulled the plug on the club's attempts to poach any of the London-based quintet over the monetary demands imposed on them by their title rivals.
City were keen to add to the contingent of English stars that are already at the club, with Raheem Sterling, Fabien Delph and John Stones all joining the Etihad-based side in the past few seasons.
Despite arguably paying over the odds for the trio, however, City were able to convince all three to head to Manchester due to the wages on offer and the lure of Champions League football - factors that would be fruitless in their efforts to sign the likes of Dele Alli with Spurs also set to compete in next season's continental competition.
The Mail now believes City are much more likely to pursue would-be England internationals from further down the chain in England's top flight, with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson, Sunderland's Jordan Pickford and Burnley's Michael Keane all possible targets ahead of the summer transfer window opening in July.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 13, 2017
Pickford would certainly provide competition for place among City's goalkeeping ranks, with doubts persisting over Claudio Bravo's ability to perform at this level and Willy Caballero's contract nearing its end.
Gibson and Keane, too, would see Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany also put under pressure to perform under Guardiola with the trio suffering from poor form and injuries respectively during the Spaniard's maiden campaign in charge.
One English star who could be on his way of City, though, is Joe Hart. The shot stopper has spent the past season on loan at Serie A side Torino after falling out of favour under Guardiola, and the 29-year-old's desire to stay in the Premier League could be granted with Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton all said to be monitoring his situation.
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