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Manchester City Transfer News: Bundesliga defender wanted as Kyle Walker replacement

Manchester City are seemingly planning for life without long-serving defender Kyle Walker, who is primed to sign for Bayern Munich. It would appear that the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League holders have identified Bayern’s Benjamin Pavard as the player that they want to replace the England international.

Pavard, a German international, is the number one transfer target this summer for Man City boss Pep Guardiola, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano. Discussions are set to commence between the two clubs regarding this possible switch, but of course much will remain on if terms can be agreed to allow Walker to link up with Thomas Tuchel in Munich.

19.04.2023, Fussball UEFA Championsleague 2022/2023: Viertelfinale, FC Bayern München – Manchester City, in der Allianz-Arena München. Benjamin Pavard (Bayern München) am Ball – Photo by Icon sport

Tuchel seemingly expressed an interest to snap up 33-year-old Walker around a month ago following the conclusion of the domestic season. Walker’s campaign finished being left on the bench for the UEFA Champions League Final victory over Inter, which secured City’s treble. Whilst The Athletic confirms Walker has verbally agreed to join, it is still to be officially completed.

Focus therefore switches back over to Man City to strike a deal to bring Pavard to the Etihad Stadium. The 27-year-old started 27 of Bayern’s 34 Bundesliga matches last season after they earned the league title on a dramatic final day of the season. However, with Walker set to enter the club, this surely opens the door for Pavard to move on.

Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker #2 of Manchester City gives his teammates instructions during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Second Leg Manchester City vs Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom, 17th May 2023 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images) in Manchester, United Kingdom on 5/17/2023. (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images/Sipa USA) – Photo by Icon sport

Guardiola has surely known for a little while now that the possibility over Walker leaving the Premier League champions was quite likely, even more so after leaving him out of the Inter game. Pavard is a slightly different player in relation to Walker, who we know has excellent recovery pace, but Pavard is strong in possession and can offer a greater presence in attack, if required.

Pavard has been on the books at Bayern since joining in January 2019 from Stuttgart. He still has one-year remaining on his contract with the Bundesliga giants, so the sort of fee Man City are prepared to pay will be significantly less as a result, you would think. He has won a total of 11 trophies with the club in that period of time, and will seek more success at City, if he signs.

Bremen, Germany, 06.05.2023: Benjamin Pavard (FC Bayern Muenchen) looks on during the 1. Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen vs FC Bayern Muenchen at Wohninvest Weserstadion on May 6, 2023 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/DeFodi Images) DFB / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS … – Photo by Icon sport

Man City/Bayern Transfer Swap: Who is getting the better deal?

The reality is that Kyle Walker is now 33 and is not necessarily going to be a long-term option for Bayern. In his defence, his fitness levels cannot be questioned, and he also remains a big presence in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Pavard however is five years or so younger, and you could argue there is more improvement in him to come.

In terms of the style Pep plays at City, we know he hasn’t completely trusted Walker, and his omit in their biggest game of the season, the UEFA Champions League Final, highlights that. Pavard can do the job which Guardiola wants, which is to help playing from the back and slot seamlessly into a back-three if required, allowing John Stones to slow into midfield.

Some will argue that the standard of Bundesliga in Germany is not to the same level at the English Premier League. Walker therefore would have no issue slotting in with immediate effect in terms of having an impact. He would play more of an out-and-out right back role under Tuchel, and at 33 he would still be expected to get up and down the pitch. As mentioned, this should be no problem.

To conclude, we would say that marginally this is an all-round move where Manchester City are the ones to benefit. They are solving a problem that in the eyes of Guardiola they have, and he himself is signing someone he believes can fill that void. Bayern are certainly not weakened heavily by this, so both win, in a way.

Loulé, 06/16/2023 – The Gibraltar National Team received the France National Team tonight at Estádio do Algarve, in a game counting for the 2024 European Championship Qualifying. Benjamin Pavard (Carlos Vidigal Jr. / Global Imagens) – Photo by Icon sport

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