The arch-rivals of Manchester have gotten off to the best possible start this season. After a busy summer that saw both the clubs spend in excess of £150m, Manchester City and Manchester United currently are sitting pretty in the top two positions in the league. They have already put daylight difference, after just eight game weeks, between them and the rest of the league.
However, it is now being reported that both managers are looking to add further depth and strength to their squad and Belgian central defensive midfielder Leander Dendoncker has become the new target for both the clubs.
The 22-year old’s impressive form for R.S.C Anderlecht has gained him attention from all over Europe. Dendoncker, who will be in action this week against PSG in the midweek Champions League clash, will be scouted by other big clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico Madrid, Marseille, Rennes, Heerenveen and AZ Alkmaar all of whom have expressed interest in signing the player.
While Mourinho was desperate for a midfield signing in the summer, the arrival of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea has calmed down the Portuguese tactician and Dendoncker may no longer be a priority signing.
Currently, the Red Devils have Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and their French ace Paul Pogba in midfield. 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 Dendoncker’s calibre and versatility in the team. The Belgian who has been a regular national player since the age of 19 can also move down and play as a centre back for his team, should the need arise.
The move to City will also guarantee him a better chance to play regular first-team football for a top European club and tutelage under Guardiola will improve the Belgian’s overall game.
Dendoncker is reportedly going to cost around £30m. So should City go for him?