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Manchester City identify Benjamin Pavard as top target to replace Kyle Walker?

Man City identify Pavard as top target to replace Walker?
© Reuters
Manchester City reportedly identify Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard as their top target to replace Kyle Walker, who has verbally agreed to move in the opposite direction.

Manchester City have reportedly identified Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard as a potential replacement for Kyle Walker.

The Citizens look increasingly likely to part ways with Walker who is understood to have verbally agreed to join Bayern this summer.

The 33-year-old has spent the last six seasons at the Etihad Stadium, making 254 appearances across all tournaments and winning 14 trophies including five Premier League titles.

The England international featured 39 times for Pep Guardiola's side that won a historic Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last season.

However, Walker was notably left out of the Citizens' starting lineup for the Champions League final triumph over Inter Milan, and his regular starting place came under threat during the second half of the 2022-23 campaign.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker pictured on January 8, 2023© Reuters

Indeed, a change in formation from Guardiola following the World Cup break saw City switch to a back three, and the Catalan boss claimed earlier this year that Walker "cannot play" in the inverted full-back role – a position that John Stones thrived in during the second half of last season.

Walker has entered the final year of his contract at the Etihad and he is keen to be assured of regular game time ahead of representing England at Euro 2024.

With Walker seemingly in favour of a fresh challenge under Thomas Tuchel at Bayern, Man City have identified Pavard as their primary right-back target, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Romano adds that both Bayern and Man City will discuss a possible deal for Pavard during their negotiations concerning a move for Walker.

Benjamin Pavard celebrates scoring for Bayern Munich on May 30, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Sky Deutschland reporter Florian Plettenberg claims that Man City are a 'serious option' for Pavard, who is admired by former Bayern boss Guardiola.

However, the Citizens may face competition for the Frenchman's signature as both Manchester United and Juventus are said to have already held talks with the £25.7m-rated defender.

Pavard, who can play either at right-back or centre-back, has made 162 appearances for Bayern in all competitions since joining the club from Stuttgart in 2019, and he has won 11 trophies including four Bundesliga titles and the Champions League.

However, the 27-year-old - who has entered the final year of his contract - has allegedly told Bayern that he wants to leave the club this summer and the 2018 World Cup winner is believed to be one of six players to have been placed on the transfer list by the Bavarian giants, who are keen to raise funds for their pursuit of top target Harry Kane.

Man City have already completed the signing of midfielder Mateo Kovacic this summer, while they are also hoping to finalise a deal to recruit RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

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Manchester City's Kyle Walker celebrates after winning the Premier League on May 21, 2023
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Kyle Walker 'has verbal agreement to join Bayern Munich'
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