SINSHEIM, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 29: Philippe Coutinho of Bayern Munich celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Bayern Muenchen at PreZero-Arena on February 29, 2020 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Rumours linking Kevin de Bruyne to a potential move away from Etihad has been gaining fuel over the past few days. While Manchester City have already had a disappointing campaign this season, their lack of involvement in the Champions League means there is a possibility that the Belgian will indeed leave the club.

So in this article, we will be taking a look at three potential options Manchester City should target this summer, in the event of de Bruyne’s potential departure from the club.

Kai Havertz: The dream option

After de Bruyne, Kai Havertz is arguably the most highly-rated attacking midfielder at the moment. The Bayer Leverkusen youngster has made quite a reputation with his consistent performances in the Bundesliga over the past two years. He is, in fact, considered as the future of German football.

Known for his excellent productivity in front of goal, Havertz could add more bite to Man City’s creative department. He can not only link up with the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling in the final third but can also score goals himself. The youngster notably netted 17 goals in the Bundesliga last season.

That being said, Havertz will cost a fortune. The Leverkusen star still has two years left in his current contract, and with the midfielder being regarded as one of the hottest prospects in football, it could be a difficult job securing his services.

Kai Havertz of Germany speaks at a press conference at Deutsches Fussball Museum on October 11, 2019, in Dortmund, Germany. Germany will play against Estonia the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match on October 13, 2019, in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

James Maddison: The realistic target

James Maddison could perhaps be a better option than Havertz for one simple reason. The Leicester City star has impressed in the Premier League and is even considered as one of the best playmakers in the league.

He has been central to the Foxes’ incredible season under Brendan Rodgers, with the English international being involved in nine league goals. Maddison is an expert when it comes to creating chances. He could make the job easier for the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Sterling, with whom he already shares a good relationship with.

Additionally, the ex-Norwich City starlet is capable of playing in several different roles, thus providing Pep Guardiola with more tactical options at his disposal.

Therefore, Maddison is indeed a realistic target for Manchester City. However, the Sky Blues could once again face stiff competition for the Leicester City ace, who is already courted by several top European clubs including cross-town rivals Manchester United.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: James Maddison of Leicester City thanks the fans after victory in the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on March 09, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Philippe Coutinho: The wild card

Philippe Coutinho is the only player on this list, who has endured a steady decline over the past two years. But, at the same time, he is the most accomplished individual, having been involved in almost 100 goals in 201 competitive matches with Liverpool. He has also won 61 caps for Brazil while winning two Spanish league titles.

Coutinho certainly has the experience as well as the winning mentality. His past exposure in the Premier League makes him a viable candidate to replace de Bruyne at Manchester City. The ex-Liverpool ace is also available in the market this summer, with FC Barcelona ready to offload him. It is believed that the Brazilian cost around £87 million.

However, Coutinho’s declining form could be a cause for concern, which is why the other two players on this list should remain the transfer priority for Manchester City, in case de Bruyne waves goodbye to the club this summer.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.