Manchester City and Pep Guardiola failed with an astonishing £60m offer for Crystal Palace attacker Eberechi Eze on transfer deadline day, it has been reported.
The Cityzens signed Matheus Nunes from Wolves in a deal worth £55m, which also sees Wolves retain a 10% sell-on clause for the midfielder, but they were also thought to be keen to sign Eze, who has shone for Crystal Palace in the last six months.
Called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, the 24-year-old has become the heartbeat of Roy Hodgson’s Selhurst Park side since Wilfried Zaha’s departure on a free transfer and Palace were desperate to keep hold of him for at least this summer.
Driving up the price further is a sell-on clause which will see Eze’s former club Queens Park Rangers owed 20% of any fee that Palace take (in this case around 14m).
The London Evening Standard claim that ‘Eze has two years left on his contract and is settled at Palace but keen to progress in his career’, and the Englishman was never expected to try and force through a move away from Selhurst Park.
However, as per the Daily Mirror, that did not stop Guardiola and co. from trying to lure him away, and they claim that ‘talks were at an advanced stage with both clubs and it’s believed the player would have loved the opportunity of linking up with Etihad boss Pep Guardiola’.
Despite this, a deal ultimately fell through thanks to Palace ‘refusing to budge from their £80million asking price’, while City were only willing to shell out around £60m for the attacker.
Having already signed Jeremy Doku and Nunes this summer, it is unlikely that failure to land Eze will be too much of a consequence to their title hopes and they could yet return for him in the coming months.