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Monaco values Benjamin Mendy at around £40 million, and Manchester City didn’t meet this asking price with its initial offer for the buccaneering left-back, reports The Telegraph’s Jason Burt.
Pep Guardiola is making widespread changes to the playing personnel in northwest England after his first season overseeing City concluded with no silverware. Bernardo Silva, Mendy’s former teammate at Monaco, has already arrived for a reported £43 million, and the ambitious Premier League outfit is unlikely to be deterred by the rejection of its first bid for a player who would address a problem position.
Fan favourite Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, and Gael Clichy are all officially leaving the club following the expiration of their contracts June 30. That would leave the left-sided Aleksandar Kolarov, 31, and the right-sided Pablo Maffeo, 19, as the only natural full-backs at the Etihad Stadium.
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Twenty-two-year-old Mendy can play on both sides but is most natural on the left, where he showed his bustling physicality and breakneck speed against City in Monaco’s two-legged Champions League Round of 16 victory, completed in March. His tender age would also fit the trend of much of Guardiola’s transfer business in Manchester, with youngsters John Stones, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, and Mendy’s former colleague Silva all joining within the last year.
Benfica also confirmed an agreement to sell goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, the 23-year-old Brazilian, to City on Thursday.
Related: City snaps up Ederson from Benfica for record British ‘keeper fee of £34.9M
City is preparing a bid for Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker to supplement the right-back quota, according to Burt, but is wary of meeting a valuation that could reach as much as £50 million. There is additionally touted interest in Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and composed Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk.