Holding Premier League champions Manchester City received an early season body blow during their matchday one clash against Burnley that will see Kevin De Bruyne laid up for a four-month layoff due to yet another injury, with Pep Guardiola hinting at further summer reinforcements to address the void left in the wake of the mercurial Belgian.
The 32-year-old creator-in-chief at the Etihad Stadium suffered a major setback in the wake of his hamstring injury that saw him subbed off during the Champions League final against Inter Milan, with reports from ESPN stating that City are now faced with a decision regarding whether or not De Bruyne will require surgery.
According to quotes provided by TNT Sports, Guardiola has directly stated that City will be filling the void in the senior side via the transfer market when quizzed on how the club intent to replace a borderline irreplaceable asset.
This comes in the wake of City being seriously linked with possible moves for both West Ham United’s Lucas Paquetá and Stade Rennais’ Jérémy Doku., with the club certainly capable of securing one if not both, given the reported £90m and £50m fees respectively.
Paquetá has been one of the leading lights for the Hammers since his arrival from AC Milan, helping the club to a Europa Conference League triumph last term, while Doku’s rapid development in the top flight of French football has thrust him into the fold for the senior Belgian side as well as being on the radar of a number of clubs this summer.
Either move offers a different pathway to replacement though, with a deal for Doku giving increased opportunities for Phil Foden to start centrally behind Erling Haaland, while a push for Paqueta could see the Brazilian international slot into the 10 role directly.
If City’s patterns of play at the time of writing in the UEFA Super Cup are anything to go by, further business is required.