The Monaco team that won the Ligue 1 last year after beating Paris Saint Germain to the French title, has seen a majority of their star players leave over the summer. The mass exodus has left the French outfit vulnerable and lacking in quality. It is going to be difficult for the defending champions to replace the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Moreover, latest reports coming out of Monaco suggest that more players could be on their way out. Their star midfielder Fabinho Henrique Tavares or simply known as Fabinho, in short, is the next big star lined up for a move. Both Manchester clubs are set to battle it out for the Brazilian.
Fabinho, who is rated at around £67m has been a long-term target for Manchester United. Pep Guardiola’s City have recently joined in and will look to hijack United’s chase.
The Brazilian, who turns 24 this October, came to Europe in the summer of 2012 by joining Real Madrid Castilla on loan. Towards the end of the season, he went on to make his debut for the Real Madrid first team.
However, it turned out to be a solo appearance and next season he was loaned out to French outfit Monaco on a season-long loan deal. He played an impressive season and was subsequently taken on loan by Monaco for the second season as well.
In the summer of 2015, Monaco made his transfer permanent. Although he started his career as a right back, his composure on the ball and ability to run with it saw him converted to a midfielder. He was a vital cog in the Monaco team last year and at the age of 23; he is one of Europe’s top young prospects now. With years of peak football ahead of him; it is no secret why the big clubs are chasing his signature
Although United were seriously chasing him in the summer, the arrival of Nemanja Matic saw them cool their interest in the Brazilian. Currently the Red Devils have Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and their French ace Paul Pogba.
It will be difficult for Mourinho to adjust another midfielder into the side. Although Carrick is on his last legs, United have makeshift cover at the middle of the park in the form of Daley Blind and Phil Jones as well.
The scene for Pep’s City is a little different. The Citizens have a host of attacking talent but lack in depth in the deeper midfield position. Yaya Toure is reaching the twilight of his career which leaves Fernandinho and injury-prone Ilkay Gundogan as the only players who can play in the holding midfield role. With Pep known to be a manager who likes to rotate his side for matches, he could do with a player of Fabinho’s calibre and versatility in the team.
Logically for the Brazilian as well, it would make more sense to join the Citizens where he would certainly be guaranteed more game time and could possibly take over the starting midfielder for Guardiola’s team.