Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has rang Maximo Perrone three times about a move to the Etihad Stadium, according to Velez Sarsfield president Sergio Rapisarda.
There are plenty of Premier League clubs interested in the tough-tackling defensive midfielder, with Fabrizio Romano reporting at the end of December that City were planning on triggering the player’s release clause of around $8m (£6.5m).
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United have also been identified as potential suitors, as relayed by Record (via Sport Witness), with both clubs making approaches of their own, but Guardiola is seemingly determined to win the race for the 20-year-old.
Speaking to Velez 670 radio about the potential transfer [via Manchester Evening News] and citing the 2016 transfer of young prospect Benjamin Garre from the Argentine club to City’s academy, Rapisarda said: “I have spoken with the people of City, because we already have a precedent. They handle themselves that way. They were constantly persuading the boy [Garre]. There is the clause which the players execute them.
“He should present a note to Agremiados, AFA and the club that is going to execute the clause. Yes, the player can authorise a third party to deposit the money. They made an offer, we were not seduced. He is a calibre player. The boy, he wants to go. The City coach called him three times, Mascherano also persuaded him, which I don’t like.”
TIF thoughts on Perrone to Manchester City…
The Argentine gem is just 20 years old, so it is unlikely that he will be able to come straight into the City first team and dislodge the likes of Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan, but there is every indication that he could be a very astute long-term signing.
Over the past year, the starlet has averaged 3.29 tackles per 90, displaying his defensive acumen, with this ranking him in the 95th percentile compared to other central midfielders in what FBref term ‘Men’s Next 8 Competitions’. He has also been hailed as a “spectacular” talent by former Velez boss Gabriel Heinze.
Perrone has proven himself in an attacking sense, too, with 0.21 assists per 90 in the same timeframe placing him in the 91st percentile, so it is clear that he has more than one side to his game.
Given the aforementioned release clause of just £6.5m, Perrone would be a fantastic purchase, and also a cheap enough one to allow City to do further business in this transfer window.