Written By Onyeka Daniel
Last season was a memorable one for Manchester City in the English Premier League and in Europe as they successful defended their EPL title and also won the UEFA Champions League title for the first time, equaling the treble winning feat that was previously held by their city rivals, Manchester United.
One player who was very instrumental for them was Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, who scored 36 goals in the EPL, a record and he has now attained a new level in the popular fantasy premier league football. He has equaled the record for the most expensive player on Fantasy Premier League at the start of a season.
In recognition of his talent, FPL have decided to set his starting price for 2023/24 at a whopping £14m – a joint-record for a player at the start of a season. The only other players to have been worth such a lofty amount – 14% of a player’s total budget – at the beginning of a campaign are Premier League legends Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie.
Haaland recorded the most points in FPL last season with 272 and his price rose as high as £12.4m. The second-most expensive player in FPL going into the new term is Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who is worth £12.5m – a decrease of £0.5m from last year.
Haaland will look to start his 2023/24 campaign in the best possible way, with the Citizens opening the Premier League season away at newly-promoted Burnley, who are managed by club legend Vincent Kompany, a protégé of City’s manager, Pep Guardiola and has also been tipped by the Spanish tactician to succeed him at the club.
In the transfer market they’ve been relatively quiet so far, bringing in Mateo Kovacic fron Chelsea for €30 million while club captain, Ilkay Gundogan has left as a free agent to join Barcelona. But the club is expected to become active soon with a move for RB Leipzig defender, Josko Gvardiol said to be the top priority.
Guardiola is looking to add the 21-year-old defender to his squad for the new season. City currently have nine senior defenders on their books in the senior squad, but Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker could leave while 18-year-old Rico Lewis is still learning.
But the German club want £85m for Gvardiol plus additional performance-related payments and City are not yet ready to meet that valuation despite advanced talks, but all parties still expect a deal can be done.
After failing in their bid to sign Declan Rice, who is expected to join Arsenal in a €105 deal, Manchester City have now turned their attention towards Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie De Jong.
City were boosted by news of two sales this week. Pedro Porro’s permanent move to Tottenham means that the Blues will receive between £9m and £10m as part of a sell-on clause they inserted when selling him to Sporting, while Premier League newcomers Burnley buying England Under-21s goalkeeper James Trafford will give City an initial £15m that could rise to £19m.
These mean that they will have enough to make an assault for Gvardiol and still bring in a midfielder. They’re considering a £90m bid for De Jong. The Dutchman, who was close to leaving last summer, had an excellent 2022-23 season, helping Barcelona win their first LaLiga title in four years.
De Jong almost joined Manchester United last year, but it is now their city rivals that look to be upping their interest ahead of a possible bid. De Jong has previously stated his intention to remain at Barcelona this summer, but Man City could certainly test his and the club’s resolve within the next few weeks. The financial issues surrounding the Blaugrana is well known and they did try to force De Jong out of the club last season with the player putting his foot down.
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