Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola has made it evidently clear that he won’t enter into a bidding war with Manchester United over Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. This after both clubs had offered £70 million for the 26-yrear old centre-back but Leicester upped their demand by another £10 million. It now looks that United are the sole bidder for Maguire as Guardiola seems to have found new talent within the club in the form of 17-year old Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
The English born youngster, who is the product of the Manchester City academy and played for England’s U-17, made a strong impression in the 4-1 win over West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy held in Shanghai, China. At 6ft 2in Harwood-Bellis possesses the physicality to engage in tough tackles, but it’s his ability in possession that has caught the eye of Guardiola & co. The Spanish coach who has been keeping a hawk eye on the teenager throughout the last season was simply “blown away” by his performance against the Hammers in China and was the only player he allotted the entire 90 minutes of playing time in that game. Guardiola seemed keen on signing a centre-back this summer but with talent such as Harwood-Bellis found in his own backyard, he is now loath to forking out a fortune for someone else in that space. Which explains his cooling off on Maguire.
Meanwhile the ex-Bayern Munich coach has gone gung-ho over another young talent, Phil Foden, who he has dubbed as “the most talented player” player he has ever seen. “He has everything to become one of the best players, not just in England.” quipped the Man City boss who once headed Barcelona with Messi & co. in it. That’s lofty praise from someone who has also coached the likes of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta while having played with Brazil’s Ronaldo. Foden was primarily responsible for bringing the U-17 World Cup to England defeating Spain 5-2 in the finals in which he himself found the back of the net twice.
The 19-year old, a product of the Manchester City academy, has already featured in 36 games across all competitions for the City’s senior squad spanning two seasons and has scored 7 goals. Foden who is left-footed, can play as a wing-back or a winger on the right, though Pep Guardiola has described him as “more of a midfielder”. The teenager is expected to be given more playing time in big competitive fixtures under Guardiola in 2019-20, having proved his worth in his club’s treble-winning feats with one memorable outing seeing him net the winner in a crucial clash with Tottenham.