Manchester City news: Sam Lee reveals offers have been made for Taylor Harwood-Bellis

Manchester City Taylor Harwood-Bellis

Eric Garcia is not the only Manchester City defender who has been the subject of transfer interest in the January window. 

The young Spaniard has been consistently linked with a switch to Barcelona but his seemingly inevitable return to the Camp Nou is yet to be confirmed. 

With John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake and Garcia all available to Pep Guardiola, City are well stocked with quality options in central defence.

Despite their strength in depth, City are still reluctant to let academy prospect Taylor Harwood-Bellis leave on loan this month according to The Athletic’s Sam Lee. 

Indeed, the respected City correspondent has provided an insight into the futures of Tommy Doyle and Harwood-Bellis – two players who are, with the exception of Phil Foden, widely regarded as the club’s most outstanding young prospects. 

In regard to 18-year-old Harwood-Bellis, Lee revealed that loan offers have been made this month but they have been turned down amid fears that City could be left short of options during the business end of a hectic season, per The Athletic.

‘City have received several offers for Harwood-Bellis, but after discussions between academy and first-team staff it has been decided to reject them for now in case he is needed to step in.

‘That could change late in the window if the club decide they have enough bodies at centre-back, and with Eric Garcia unlikely to join Barcelona this month, that is a possibility — but so far interested clubs have been left disappointed.’

GIVEMESPORT’s Jack Saville says…

Foden’s example has provided a blueprint for success that City may be reluctant to deviate from. 

While calls for City to either give Foden more game time or send him out on loan persisted during his teenage years, the club didn’t succumb to external pressure, nurtured him close to home and are now reaping the rewards.

It’s no surprise that offers have been forthcoming for Harwood-Bellis given the level of promise he has shown during his eight senior appearances for the club, but City are doing the right thing in refusing to sanction his exit. 

Not only will he benefit from working closely with Guardiola and one of the best squads in world football, there’s also a slim chance he’ll be needed to plug gaps later in the season.

Ake and Laporte have both struggled with injuries this season while Garcia is clearly not in the right headspace to reach anything close to optimum performance, so the Stockport-born central defender’s presence gives Guardiola a valuable option to consider in the event of an injury crisis.

It only takes a quick glance at the unfolding situation at Liverpool to appreciate the importance of maximising the size of the squad. 

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