'He needs minutes' - Guardiola confirms reported Saints target will leave on loan

Manchester City striker Liam Delap (Pic: PA)
Manchester City striker Liam Delap (Pic: PA)

PEP Guardiola has revealed Manchester City are in the process of loaning out young striker and reported Saints target Liam Delap.

Saints have been repeatedly linked with failed transfer bids for the Winchester-born 19-year-old this summer. Manchester City are not prepared to let him leave on a permanent basis.

Delap, son of former Saint Rory, starred in the final of the Under-19 Euros last month – helping England to beat Israel for the trophy.

The youngster has been prolific at youth levels for City’s hyper-successful academy, scoring 32 goals in his last 30 Premier League 2 matches.

However, Delap needs regular first-team minutes, having played four times for Guardiola’s side since making a debut during the 2020-21 season, and City are sanctioning his exit.

Guardiola confirmed: “We loaned ‘Macca’ (James McAtee, to Sheffield United), Liam is in that process because we have Erling and Julian and he needs minutes.

Daily Echo:
Daily Echo:

“The EDS phase is done. He has to try and go there and play and the other ones. Luke Mbete, Rico and Josh will be with us.”

This revelation is set cause a scramble for the hitman’s temporary signature, with the Independent reporting both Saints and Championship Burnley as interested.

Liam Delap goal tonight. 💥 [@The_FT24] pic.twitter.com/kSIIayIujs

The Lancashire club are now managed by City legend Vincent Kompany, and are building an exciting team to fight for their return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Meanwhile, Saints are open about being on the hunt for further striker reinforcements, with Che Adams, Adam Armstrong and Sekou Mara currently as options.

Saints are yet to make a loan signing this summer, having acquired Delap’s City teammates Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia on a permanent basis.

Both have impressed during their first two Premier League matches, which could inspire head of recruitment and former City academy recruitment boss, Joe Shields, to go back in and raid his ex-side.

Delap would represent a cheap, risk-free addition to the striker ranks – while Saints would likely need one experienced forward added to all-but guarantee goals.

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