Man City ready to fight Liverpool for £60m Alexis Mac Allister transfer

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reviews Chelsea game

Newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester City are ready to join the battle for Brighton’s World Cup-winning midfielder Alexis Mac Allister. Liverpool have been in pole position to land the Argentina international with the player set to move away from the south coast this summer.

But Pep Guardiola has made it clear he wants City bosses to grab the £60million-rated star from under the noses of the Merseyside giants. City had been hoping Jude Bellingham could help to refresh a midfield likely to see significant change next season with Ilkay Gundogan contemplating an Etihad exit in the summer.

Bernardo Silva is another who could leave. But Bellingham instead appears Real Madrid bound and the technical Mac Allister has emerged as a leading contender to replace Gundogan in particular.

Mac Allister’s father and agent claimed his son was “most likely” to leave the Amex Stadium this summer despite having another two years to run on his current deal. Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all understood to be interested in landing the Argentine.

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And Express Sport understands City are hoping the lure of Champions League football will prove decisive for Mac Allister and his representatives. Guardiola’s side may yet enter next season’s competition as the holders of the competition with a final against Inter Milan in Istanbul to look forward to on June 10.

Mac Allister, 24, is one of a number of top-class prospects that Guardiola will target as he seeks to refresh a side who have just landed a fifth title in six years. City are just two games away from becoming only the second English side in history to land the treble.

Mac Allister’s highly-rated Brighton team-mate Julio Enciso, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol are others on City’s radar as they plan work to update their squad.

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Aymeric Laporte was spotted in tears after City’s win over Chelsea at the weekend, their final home match of the season. The Spanish defender is another player who could leave, with Joao Cancelo also a high-profile potential departure after a loan spell with Bayern Munich.

City are meanwhile working on a new contract for academy graduate Rico Lewis. Guardiola hailed the versatile player as City’s own “little Philipp Lahm” during the season, adding: “There are players who play for themselves really well, but he has the ability to make all the team play better.”

City are expected to hand a new long-term deal to the highly-rated 18-year-old who has made 21 first-team appearances this term. An England under-21 international, Lewis is poised for plenty more minutes next year, particularly if Cancelo and Laporte leave.

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