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Man City swapping their 19-year-old starlet to land world-class defensive star would be terrific

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in action. (Getty Images)
Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in action. (Getty Images)

Why Man City should go ahead with Garcia-Koulibaly swap deal

According to talkSPORT(h/t Daily Star), Man City are planning to offer academy graduate Eric Garcia in a part-exchange deal to bring top target Kalidou Koulibaly to the Etihad this summer.

Garcia,19, has made it clear that he is not willing to sign a new deal with the Citizens. The teenager’s existing contract expires next summer and City currently find themselves under pressure to cash in on him. (talkSPORT h/t Daily Star)

As per the report, Barcelona are understood to be Garcia’s preferred destination but City are looking to use him as a makeweight in an attempt to reduce Napoli’s asking price for Koulibaly, who has also been linked with cross-town rivals Man United.

Why a swap deal would make sense

Man City shipped 35 goals en route to their 2nd-place finish in the Premier League last term. That’s not a bad defensive record by any means, but certainly a downgrade on their defensive numbers (just 23 goals conceded) from the triumphant 2018-19 PL campaign.

Napoli 'open to Manchester City talks for Kalidou Koulibaly' - Sports Mole
Koulibaly has been mentioned as one of Man City’s top targets (Getty Images)

Faced with the departure of former skipper Vincent Kompany, the Citizens were hit hard by the injury to Aymeric Laporte early last season. That proved decisive in the end as Guardiola’s side ran out of specialist options at the heart of the defence, with John Stones also struggling for form and fitness.

In an ideal world, City shouldn’t be looking to part ways with Eric Garcia, who showed glimpses of his vast potential in the PL last season. The Spaniard is clearly a very talented centre-back but it would make complete sense for the Citizens to cash in on him rather than risk losing him for free next year.

Kalidou Koulibaly, on the other hand, remains one of the most sought-after central defenders on the planet, meaning that he would be an immediate asset to City’s backline. 

Barcelona's top defensive target is Eric Garcia, while Man City already makes alternative signing - TechnoSports
Man City are planning to use Eric Garcia in a swap deal to sign Koulibaly (Getty Images)

The Senegalese international’s right-footed nature would make him a perfect fit alongside new signing Ake, who is predominantly a left-footed defender.

Irrespective of what the future holds for Nicolas Otamendi and Stones, Koulibaly’s proven track record in the Serie A and Champions League should make him an excellent addition to Guardiola’s squad. 

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Verdict

Man City still have enough room to bring in a world-class centre-back and the acquisition of Kalidou Koulibaly would go a long way towards helping them regain their dominance on the domestic throne. 

It’s not always advisable to exchange a promising youngster for a 29-year-old but City shouldn’t hesitate to go ahead with this swap deal given Garcia’s reluctance to sign a new deal.

Koulibaly still has plenty of football remaining in his prime and Man City concluding a deal for the Napoli star could well pay off handsomely.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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